Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cedar Rapids Police Chief Pushes More Ineffective Gun Control

In mid-August "Organizing for Action," a nonprofit group which mobilizes support for President Obama's legislative and political agenda, organized the "Gun Violence Prevention Rally" in Cedar Rapids Iowa. According to a Gazette story only about 30 people wandered into the event.

The most prominent of the several community leaders to speak was Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman. Chief Jerman has been trying to organize a gun "buyback" program since early this summer yet has only received $1,000 in donations from the community for that program.

At the gun control rally, Jerman said he supports background checks for all gun sales, restricting gun magazines to 10 rounds and banning so-called "assault weapons." His support for these measures not only puts him out of touch with what has proven effective but also out of step with the vast majority of rank and file police officers who care more about catching bad guys than giving speeches.

Jerman's support for "universal background checks," while setting the framework for registration of lawful guns and law-abiding owners, would do little to reduce crime. A 2001 Bureau of Justice Statistics survey of prison inmates convicted of gun crimes found that 79 percent acquired their firearms from off the books sources. Simply put, crack dealers buying guns on the black market will NOT be undergoing "universal background checks."

Perhaps that's why in a recent comprehensive survey of police officers, fully 79.7% of responding cops said that "a federal law prohibiting private, non-dealer transfers of firearms between individuals" would NOT reduce violent crime.

Restricting gun magazines to 10 rounds would be ineffective also. A 2004 Department of Justice report found "that assailants fire less than four shots on average, a number well within the 10-round magazine limit" making it irrelevant in most street crimes. Even in the more newsworthy yet rare mass shootings the arbitrary 10 round limit is mostly irrelevant. The Virginia Tech shooter and one of the Columbine shooters used 10 round magazines and were able to rack up massive body counts against their unarmed victims anyway.

An overwhelming 95.7 % of police officers said that a ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds would NOT reduce violent crime.

Jerman's support for banning "assault weapons" is equally unwarranted. Firstly, such a ban cuts to the heart of the Second Amendment giving a legislature a blank check to ban any and all firearms since "assault weapon" is a meaningless political term that can only be defined by the ban itself. Assault weapons affected by the previous federal ban were not fully-automatic "machine-guns" nor were they more powerful than traditional weapons.

So-called "assault weapons" were only used in a tiny percentage of crimes to begin with. Crime continued to fall after the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004 and has continued to fall as previously banned weapons have sold by the million. Even the radical anti-gun group, Violence Policy Center, said “You can’t argue with a straight face that the [assault weapon] ban has been effective.”

71% of cops said that an ban on so-called "assault weapons" would have no effect on violent crime. Another 20.5% of police officers said that such a ban would actually INCREASE violent crime!

Oh, as for Jerman's gun "buyback" program that the community has not embraced, a recent CDC report stated simply that "gun turn-in programs are ineffective." 81.5% of police officers agree with that assessment.

Jerman's home state of Maryland ("There's yer problem!") has magazine capacity restrictions, bans on "assault pistols," and prohibitions on private sales of "regulated firearms," similar to the laws he is stumping for. Maryland also has a murder rate of 6.8 per 100,000 (in 2011) compared to Iowa's rate of 1.5 per 100,000. Sounds like those gun laws are really helping out there and we need to import them so we too can become a crime free Utopia like Maryland. (Yes, that was sarcasm.)

The taxpayers of Cedar Rapids need to decide if they are paying their police chief to serve and protect their community and ensure that beat cops have the resources they need to do their jobs or if they're paying him to be a political shill for the anti-freedom agenda of the Obama administration.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Gary Johnson on Syria

Gary Johnson, 2012 Libertarian Candidate for President, released the following statement today regarding potential U.S. military intervention in Syria:

“No one disagrees that the use of chemical weapons in Syria is despicable, and the results tragic. However, those facts alone do not make going to war either justified or even a good idea. And while the Administration can parse words all day long, launching missiles or dropping bombs constitutes going to war.

“There is no clear U.S. interest in what is, in reality, a civil war on the other side of the globe. Likewise, there is nothing to indicate at this time that intervening in that civil war will benefit anyone -- either here in America or in Syria.

“The consequences of our military actions in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan should be a lesson to President Obama and others who appear determined to act without any meaningful strategic or national defense justification.”

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Iowa Steel Targets

A buddy of mine makes steel pistol targets. They're 10" round and 1/2" thick. They have rings on top so you can hang them. He's asking $20 each. You can email him at for more info and to order.  Tell him Cold Hard Cashner sent you.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

2013 Walk to End Alzheimer's

Near the one year anniversary of my mom's death to the dread disease I will be participating in the 2013 Walk to End Alzheimer's - Cedar Rapids, IA! Can you support me with a donation? Your support will help the Alzheimer’s Association to enhance Alzheimer’s care and support and advance critical research for all those affected by this devastating disease. (Just click on the link below the picture to donate.)

2013 Walk to End Alzheimer's - Cedar Rapids, IA: Benjamin R Cashner - Alzheimer's Association

Friday, August 9, 2013

Jake Porter Back in the Ring

Jake Porter has once again declared his intention to run for Iowa Secretary of State as a Libertarian. Porter was the party's nominee in 2010 and received 33,854 votes, covering the margin of Republican Matt Schultz’s victory over Democrat Michael Mauro.

One of the Secretary of State's most important duties is overseeing the state's elections. As I've pointed out before, it would be nice to have a third-party official in that post who wouldn't be tempted to tip the electoral scales for the Democrats or Republicans. Porter addressed that very notion in his announcement of intention.

“As Secretary of State, I would not endorse any political candidate like Matt Schultz did when he supported Rick Santorum for President. Additionally, I do not have ties to one of the two major political parties like Brad Anderson does. Unlike Anderson, I have never advised or worked for John Edwards or President Obama. We need someone who is independent of the two major political parties to act as a referee and that is the type of candidate I am.” said Porter.

Porter will be getting my support and my vote. You can read more about him at

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