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Detroit Police Chief To Citizens: Arm Yourselves

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Former gun-control advocate changes tune in combating crime



Detroit Chief of Police James Craig

During his 28 years on the police force in Los Angeles, James Craig tended to agree with his state’s tight control over concealed carry permits, believing fewer guns would lead to fewer violent crimes.

But when he moved to Portland, Maine, in 2009 to serve as the city’s new police chief, he discovered a different culture – one where guns actually made people safer.

Now Craig, the chief of police in Detroit, Mich., has a message for the law-abiding folks in his crime-ridden city: Arm yourselves, and criminals will think twice about attacking you.

At a press conference at police headquarters Thursday, the Detroit News reports, Craig praised the deterrent power of a legally armed citizenry.

“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits,” he said, “the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department.”

Craig’s statements echoed those he made Dec. 19 on WJR Radio’s “The Paul W. Smith Show”: “There’s a number of [concealed pistol license, or CPL] holders running around the city of Detroit. I think it acts as a deterrent. Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction. I learned that real quick in the state of Maine.”

At the press conference Thursday, Craig described his conversion from gun hater to gun advocate.

“Coming from California, where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of [carrying concealed weapon permits, or CCWs], and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation,” he said. “I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”

Robyn Thomas, director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco, however, criticized Craig’s conclusion.

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    Total 43 comments
    • DRAUGR

      Why does common sense sometimes takes years to dawn on some people who you would think, through their experience, their positions in society, their intellect and the repeated slaps to their faces of contradictory known facts and statistics would not automatically come to the forefront of their thinking is a mysterious thing? But as mysterious a thing it may be the answer is known. In situations discussed in this article that are left to those who base decisions upon emotion and disregard fact a negative outcome is inevitable. When your doctor comes to you and says that your left lung is inundated with cancer but he doesn’t want to remove it because it will hurt and leave a scar that is making a decision based upon emotion. When your doctor tells you that your left lung is inundated with cancer and all known knowledge to save your life indicates that the left lung be removed and your doctor concurs, that is using intellect, experience and facts. Though difficult to endure, you survive. Compassion and empathy have their time and place. Cold calculated hard facts and logic have theirs as well. Mixing the two often leads to utter failure. It is a wise man who recognizes to which degree either is employed in any given circumstance.

      • INSIGNIA777

        Telling Detroit to arm themselves is like telling a cow to buy milk!
        They are already armed to the teeth … DUH!!

        • Neanderthal

          and I assume you have a problem with that? you idiot! duh back at you.

      • Joe1938

        DRAUGR, Thank you for the excellent points made. However, to understand the people who advocate gun control, one must consider those in that population. A psychoanalysis of the prominent members of this population indicates their basic motivator can be summed up with the four letter word “FEAR”. These people have BOHICA’ed the American people so badly that they know Americans are going to revolt because there is no alternative other than revolt. When this happens and based on history, the people who advocate gun control know who is going to be in extreme danger.

    • CrowPie

      Wow….what a pleasant surprise. I can’t brag about my state and county a lot, but I can on this subject. Our county sheriff is pro-gun. He holds training for new gun owners ever week and encourages new purchases.

      • Neanderthal

        Let me go downstairs and get the
        best Christmas present that I have ever got. Be right back.

        OK here it is 3000 rounds and i read it off the box
        American Eagle tactical AE223 centerfire Rifle Cartridges and a copy of
        The Original Constitution for the Untied States of America. The Republic.

        Now tell me that there is no Santa Clause :)

        • CrowPie


          I kinda liked the one that was featured on BIN that looks like a first aid kit…..But those are a lttle big for me.

          I’m more of a “gotta be able to hold it in “one hand” girl”…these days…

          Age and genetics caught up with me…..

        • Rufus Juice

          you’ll shoot your eye out…….

          sorry had to.

        • CrowPie

          That’s why I stick to smaller caliber.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, there really is a Santa Claus! Great article! Most gun owners are truly aware that according to the Constitution of the United States (yes, the Republic, not the Corporation) that WE, the citizens, ARE THE MILITIA…not the government.

          Got a great laugh from your post…as a woman, I don’t think anyone will be even getting close to me with my AR…and for backup, I have my .9 mm, and for insurance, theres my thigh high strapped Ruger LCP. Criminals love unarmed victims!

    • larry

      I just don’t understand, why does it take all this time for a person to come to a conclusion that should not take over five minutes?

      • Neanderthal

        naw we started this in 2008 and have been just observing to validate the concerns.

      • trashman

        Larry the reason is simple: the people in power atm are corrupt too the lowest lvls now! They have given their souls too satan. They want you powerless, helpless, depending on them for everything~ Once they got you in their power then they will KILL YOU! This group should allllllll be tried and convicted for the highest levels of High treason! They think they are god but the TRUE God will reveal himself and they will run to the mountains to their dooms!

        • Neanderthal

          If I may and if I may not then I do apologize in advance.
          When you say the people in power your are referring to them. That is a incorrect statement.
          In order to empower yourself you need to understand that YOU ARE IN POWER and those are your servants. Now to put it in proper perspective lets try this.

          We the People have allowed our servants to get out of control.
          We the People have allowed the servants to think that they are IN CONTROL!

          Now We the People need to put our servants back into their positions and show them that

          Can I go to sleep now?

      • Shralla

        Because the conclusion isn’t actually valid. He’s talking about applying things he learned in his time as a chief of police in a city of less than 75,000 people to cities of over three million. It’s a fallacious and baseless comparison. Guns have nothing to do with why Portland, ME is safe.

        • DALTOWN22


      • Neanderthal

        Personally i think 5 minutes is to long but hey its better then 10 :)

    • Neanderthal

      Make this man the President of OUr country, god i love the smell of nap-hon in the morning, as long as the stand on the ground and oath of the constitution.
      My kind of man. Amerikaner!

    • Neanderthal

      Hell, I will move to Detroit with this original american attitude. I would back Mr. Craig up with a heart beat and so would every other patriot!
      Now that is what I call an Agenda to clean up the fricken mess in America and looks good for Detroit. Refreshing to see a true American for a change. Makes my heart feel fricken good.

      • Freeamerican

        Otay, have fun, I hear there are plenty of houses to buy. Post later from your new home, K?

        • Neanderthal

          Freeman Back at you , however this is about guns and ammo not real estate. I have a mansion in Nebraska, red neck country. come to daddy. I am not a city slicker. Hey Freeamerican what is OTAY? Are you trying to imply something? Or should I just say get your head out of my ass? Pop!

    • Earl

      The reason arming law abiding citizens works is like on the 2nd grader’s playground. There will always be a bully that has not learned his lesson. You can either keep the little victim child’s hands tied, or you can let his big brother walk the school yard with him. And the bully will always think twice when the big brother is around. It’s not rocket science. And it IS common sense. It’s the only way to neutralize the bully. Law makers do not have this problem of being bullied because they naturally have weapons at their disposal. That is all the public is asking those officials to see in return. It’s the same rights. I assure you… law abiding citizens will still follow the law, while criminals will still break the laws. Who would you rather have left standing in your community if a confrontation should happen? Stop making things worse and living in a dream world that violent criminals will obey laws. They are just that… violent criminals.

    • b_snyder414

      We live in Kennesaw GA and the law is to own a gun here!! The crime rate is very low!!!

    • Factory Farms FEAR the MooCow

      Hopefully soon he will also realize that the NRA was created to also help black Americans against slave owners when it was created as well for their freedom and protection.

    • sjohnson1776

      What this man demonstrates is a complete lack of intellectual curiosity. He swallowed the ‘party line’ hook line and sinker as they say and ‘just followed orders’. This despite some exceptional work done by Lott and others (‘More guns, less crime’) to be precise.
      I applaud his ‘conversion’ to common sense, but this does go to show what we’re dealing with.

    • Mirabolin

      Well the police in Detroit will only come around if there has been a murder. Eventually come around anyway.

    • building 5

      this has been a no brainer from the start in this country, (and everywhere). If I’m going to attack you and I think you have a weapon, -I’m NOT going to attack you. In this day and age you’d be a fool not to have some kind of protection, (unless you’re a stinking politician with taxpayer bodyguards, then that’s different).

    • The Right Handed Cowboy

      Please move to Texas….we are armed and we have the right to defend ourselves without having to retreat.

      That said we do not go looking for trouble but if trouble finds you you can defend yourself..

      • Neanderthal

        I appreciate the offer to move to Texas and would love to take you up on your invitation with pride.
        However I am an AMERICAN and therefore I can pack anywhere in this country. Enough said. Coming to Texas for a vist :) I love your hospitality.

    • rvrandy

      its dumb asses like you who give white people a bad name,, White trash.. Oh yeah im white BTW

    • Landsharkxray

      Congratulations to Chief Craig. Not much better news than to learn of senior law enforcement officials realizing the effectiveness of the exercise of our Article II rights. My deep desire is that our law makers, both state and federal, would all realize that the Constitution was amended to insure the freedom and well being of the people.
      To Miss Robyn Thomas, I say give up your Communist plot to disarm the American people and realize that a good person with a weapon is a protection against a bad person with a weapon. And the police are not always there when you need them.

      Semper Fidelis!

    • phorest

      Weren’t all the drug dealers in Detroit already armed? :lol:

    • Anonymous

      Just what you need when going for a quite night walk in the hood (compact gun) :idea:

      • Neanderthal

        since when is the last time you went out for a quiet nite walk IN THE HOOD? RIGHTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

    • Berzrkr50

      Robyn Thomas, being from the totally socialist city of San Francisco, will never, EVER, admit to the possibility that guns can be a valuable tool for crime reduction. She’s rather vote Republican, and that will never happen either.

    • Shralla

      This is ridiculous. The idea that Portland, ME could be compared in any kind of meaningful way to either Los Angeles OR Detroit is downright absurd. Guns have absolutely nothing to do with what makes Maine safe. What makes Maine safe is the fact that NOBODY LIVES THERE. The city-only population of Los Angeles is almost four times the population of the entire state of Maine, and Maine is a pretty big state with people spread out pretty far. Portland itself has less than 100,000 people living in it! These are literally two entirely different cultures, with entirely different requirements as far as law and enforcement goes. What works in massive cities won’t necessarily work in what is comparatively the wilderness, and vice versa.

    • Anonymous

      People have to get armed against these lot and

    • SGde3a

      Wish they would reinstate the laws in Australia again. One stupid false flag and prime minister put on tears and they just took em. Too hot to argue and the constitution isnt really spoken of. All hail civil liberties (again)

    • Cross Country Man

      God is the author of everything including Wisdom! All Wisdom comes from God and the Fear of God imbues one with Wisdom something quite obviously no or very few public officials act upon or have the influence of, which means we truly have become a Godless People by and large. How sad that a once humble and contrite people who labored under the Blessings of God have lost thier center. That’s why Draugr! Pure and Simple Amerika has slid into the ABYSS! :roll:

    • dj

      Ccw’s are just playing into the hands of the controllers. A “license is NOT needed to practice a “right”.

    • clockwork angel

      so he says “Arm yourselves, and criminals will think twice about attacking you” was he really talking about D.C.?????

    • sahani

      How true in india before invaders all used to carry arms visible to all . Even hindu gods have all war gear visible to all . Look like Our chief is right. To save this world we should arm ourselves.

    • taptap

      living in maine is not the same as living in detroit, the biggest threat in maine is a moose. the biggest threat in detroit, is cronic povertyu and unemployment. oh yeah lets just give everybody a gun and a wink and nod on stand your ground, if i dont like you for any reason, i simply put a bullet in you head and say you were trying to rob me. yep lets arm all of america. look at how people act with their cars, aggressively driving, now imagine everyone having a gun as well

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