Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who’s been on the job since July of last year, started blowing minds this week by telling anyone who would listen that law-abiding citizens who possess concealed carry permits — and the pistols to accompany them — make for wonderfully effective crime deterrents.
Craig spoke at a press conference Thursday, telling reporters he once believed in gun control. But over the course of a 36-year career in law enforcement, Craig found that violent criminals believed in gun control, too. After all, why would bad guys want to increase the probability that their victims are capable of matching force with force?
From a Friday story in The Detroit News:
If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Thursday.
Urban police chiefs are typically in favor of gun control or reluctant to discuss the issue, but Craig on Thursday was candid about how he’s changed his mind.
“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at a press conference at police headquarters, adding that he thinks more Detroit citizens feel safer, thanks in part to a 7 percent drop in violent crime in 2013.
Craig said he started believing that legal gun owners can deter crime when he became police chief in Portland, Maine, in 2009.
“Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.
“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”
Craig had actually begun making similar statements to media last month, telling a Detroit radio host he believes there’s a direct link between “good Americans with CPLs” and reduced crime.
The chief’s candor has taken some 2nd Amendment supporters in Michigan by surprise. “I’m not ready to say he’s pro-gun just yet,” Detroit gun safety instructor Rick Ector told the newspaper, “but it’s vastly different from what police chiefs have said in the past.”
Here’s hoping Craig doesn’t run into a buzz saw of sanctimonious and misguided opposition in a city crippled — and very much still haunted by — decades of progressive leadership.