Monday, January 13, 2014

Detroit police chief touts value of responsible armed citizenry

It is almost impossible to have a rational discussion about gun control. Many people sincerely and honestly believe that a more restrictive policy toward gun ownership will curb cataclysmic occurrences such as the killing of 26 people at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Ct. in December of 2012.

That’s why Detroit Police Chief James Craig gained such attention as he suggested a responsibly armed citizenry helps lower crime rates.

“A well-armed, good citizen can be the biggest deterrent to violent crime,” Craig told Fox News.

“Research bears this out,” Craig said, and he has  the statistics to back it up. There has been a 7 percent drop in violent crime in what has been characterized as the nation’s most violent cities. There has been a 14 percent drop in homicides and an 8 percent drop in non-fatal shootings

“Responsibility plays a key role here,” he added.

Craig cited a Department of Justice study that he said suggested “that a well-armed good citizen can be the biggest deterrent to violent crime.”

Craig, who has worked in four cities, said he used to routinely deny requests for concealed-carry weapons permits. He said he experienced an “aha moment” when he was chief in Portland, Me., where crime rates were low and the number of CCW permits was relatively high.

“Violent criminals here know their biggest fear is being met with an armed citizen,” Craig told Fox News. “They are more fearful of an armed citizen than of a police officer.”

Craig said some criminals in Detroit have taken to wearing body armor as a result.

Perhaps the answer lies in all sides agreeing to a responsible concealed-carry strategy. Until mental health is tackled as  a serious issue, tragedies such as occurred in Sandy Hook may continue, and tilting at the gun control windmill is unlikely to be productive as a strategy to counter them.



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