The “no questions asked” gun buyback that concluded yesterday by the Los Angeles Police Department brought in two antitank rocket launchers among other military styled weapons. 2,037 weapons came in, including 75 assault weapons.
In exchange for grocery store gift cards, guns of all types were brought in. There was 166 instances where the donor didn’t want any cash for the weapon, but just wanted to rid their house of the gun. At some point, so many guns came in that there was a private donation made to the City Controller’s office that had to pay to keep the program solvent during the day after more than expected weapons continued to flow in and grocery gift card funds were exhausted.
LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck remarked about the antitank rocket launchers and some other weapons, that “these are not hunting guns”. Not hunting guns? What if Bambi’s driving a tank out in the forest, and some hunter suddenly finds himself under heavy pounding as Bambi fires shells at the hunter’s fortified bunker? Some poor hunter might need an antitank weapon to stop this deer from creating so much carnage. But, more seriously, the police chief is absolutely right. What legitimate purpose do items such as rocket launchers have for public use? Weapons of this type are frightening in the hands of the mentally ill or some would be terrorist. Thank God a few less of these weapons are on the street. But, how many more are out there, and who owns them? That’s a very good question.