In the after math of the Newtown shooting, the LAPD decided to move up their annual “gun buy-back” program, placing it the day after Christmas and offering gift certificates between $100-200 for each firearm turned in. They do get a significant turn-in each year, even if a lot of the weapons are old, rusty junk not capable of harming anyone, stolen weapons, etc. This year, however, was a bit different, although it displays the utter stupidity of the system more clearly than anything else I could imagine. This year, they netted two “rocket launchers”.
Chief Charlie Beck and moron Los Angeles mayor Tony Villar immediately started dancing in front of the cameras, media whores that they are, saying they’ve accomplished amazing things and taken dangerous weapons off the streets. According to Beck, “Those are weapons of war, weapons of death. These are not hunting guns. These are not target guns. … they have no place in our great city.”
The problem is, those “rocket launchers” were not a remote danger to anyone. Actually, they weren’t “rocket launchers” at all, one was a single-use grenade launcher that had already been used and could not be reloaded and the other was a training grenade launcher that could never have been used at all. Both are freely available at military surplus stores and online. So the LAPD paid someone up to $200 for useless plastic tubes and then made a big deal over it. Give me a break.
When it was pointed out to the police that the weapons were useless, that they lacked the projectiles and the parts to make them a danger to anyone, police were still adamant that they had no place in Los Angeles. Most likely, the already-fired unit was brought back from Iraq or Afghanistan by a serviceman as a souvenir and the other could have been picked up on eBay for cheap.
Something tells me these people ought to take a look at the weapons they’re taking in and paying people for. Somehow, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they paid someone $200 for a kid’s toy gun. It’s just the stupidity of the city of Los Angeles.