Pro-gun, Detroit Police Chief James Craig defended his position that an armed society creates a politer society Thursday when a citizen questioned his reasoning during a Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting.
Sandra Hines, a Detroit resident, criticized Craig for suggesting that responsible, law-abiding citizens should keep and bear arms for self-defense outside the home.
“It could lead to vigilantism,” said Hines, as The Detroit News reported. “We already have the open-carry law here, and we have the stand-your-ground law. We don’t need anybody encouraging citizens (to carry guns).”
Craig, who made his views on concealed carry widely known by appearing on a radio show last month, iterated his position that good guys with guns have the capacity to reduce crime.
“I did, in fact, say that good Americans, good Detroiters, if responsible, could get CPLs (carrying pistol licenses), and that it could — emphasis on the word ‘could’ — be a deterrent to violent crime,” explained Craig.
“I said that because of my experience in four cities, having seen good Americans and good Detroiters that have CCWs (carrying concealed weapons permits), and what effect it has had on deterring violent crime,” he continued.
Before taking the job in Detroit, Craig worked on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years as well as serving as chief in Portland, Maine, and Cincinnati.
In addition to mentioning his many years of experience on the job, Craig cited various studies to back his argument.
“There was a study done comparing the U.S. to Great Britain that suggested that home invasions, while people were in the house, were less likely in the United States than in Great Britain. And the reason why is because the suspects know there’s a greater likelihood that people in America are more likely to have guns inside their homes,” said Craig. “So they tend to wait until the home is vacant to commit the home invasion.”
“In England, suspects, because of the restrictive gun laws, 50 percent of the home invasions are committed while the people are in their homes,” he added.
Though Craig, who isn’t totally pro-gun as he does support banning so-called ‘assault weapons,’ regulating so-called ‘high-capacity’ magazines and expanding background checks to cover gun transfers made via the Internet and at gun shows, also made the distinction between advocating for responsible, prudent carry and vigilantism.
“I do not condone vigilantism,” stated Criag. “I don’t support individuals arming themselves and doing the work of police officers. Police officers are trained to enforce the law. I think you put people at risk when you have people that are out playing police. I do see that a concealed weapon is an opportunity for self-protection only; not to go out and enforce the law.”