The gun debate in this country can probably be defined by two kinds of people: Those who think having fewer assault-type weapons around means safer streets, and those who think such a thing would be detract from the fight against criminals. (Because bad guys get ripped to pieces by legit homeowners with assault weapons all the time).
City Hall and the LAPD seem to agree with the former concept. Today they announced a weekend gun buyback program netted …
… 49 “assault weapons.” A total of 1,172 firearms (516 handguns, 381 rifles, 226 shotguns, and 49 assault weapons) were turned into cops in exchange for Ralphs grocery gift cards, police said.
Handguns and shotguns are good for $100 cards, assault-style rifles get $200.
Saturday's haul was smaller than almost any other LAPD buyback since 2010 except for one in May, 2012, which netted 1,673 guns. The last big buyback, in December, saw 2,037 guns turned in.
Still, city officials were triumphant. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement:
Although the total scope of today's success cannot be measured, the guns displayed here will never be used to harm innocent people. And for those who have lost their lives to gun violence, let this be a solemn remembrance that their sacrifices were not in vain and will never be forgotten.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa used the occasion to criticize Congress for its inaction on gun control:
Like all of you, I was disappointed by Congress' inability to pass commonsense gun legislation, but we will not let inaction in Washington stop us from taking action here in Los Angeles to get guns off of our streets.