**Posted by Phineas
Remember when Los Angeles’ latest gun buyback program made headlines last month because a couple of “rocket launchers”  were turned in? Pretty scary right? A dramatic, powerful argument for more “smart” gun regulations, no? A perfect illustration of Senator Feinstein’s attempt to ban weapons with a “military characteristic ,” don’t you think?
Only problem is, they weren’t real :
It turns out both were one-use, AT-4 grenade launchers used by the U.S. Army in anti-tank operations. Yes they are grenade launchers (not really “rocket” launchers proper) but these tubes are pre-packaged weapons that can be fired only one time and cannot be reloaded. They are one-shot only weapons. So, yes, that means the tubes the police had were completely and permanently harmless.
But even more absurdly, at least one of the tubes was a training piece and never fired a grenade and never could have. It was a device used only for showing young soldiers what such a weapon looks like. It is a hands-on training tool that is 100% inert, un-fireable, safe as a plastic kid’s toy gun.
As Paul Szoldra explains , “It is, quite literally, a long, green fiberglass tube that does nothing.”
Further, these hunks of plastic can be bought at many military surplus stores and have even turned up on on eBay  in the past.
What we really have here is the LAPD making a big story out of nothing and a gaggle of Old Media lapdogs lapping up the fake story because they haven’t a clue about the topic.
And don’t tell me that no one in LAPD, not even its notoriously pro-gun control (1) Chief, Charlie Beck, knew the difference. They just thought the public would be as gullible as a MSM reporter.
(1) Check out this CBS article for a good example of Chief Beck mouthing the party line  in the face of strong evidence of a correlation between rising gun sales and a decline in gun-related injuries and deaths. And, contra the Chief, gun buybacks don’t work  (PDF).
(Crossposted at Public Secrets )