Detroit Police Chief Credits Armed Citizens for Drop in Crime

A 88-year old man opened his door for a woman who asked for help, but then two male accomplices rushed in beating the elderly man severely and robbing him. A day later a newspaper reporter came to his door and the man would only speak to him through the closed door. When two other reporters then appeared on his porch he panicked and fired off shot that lodged in a tree without hitting anyone. So far, he is undergoing psychological evaluation and hasn’t been charged. Chief James Craig is sympathetic, saying Detroit’s law-abiding citizens are getting itchy trigger fingers because they are fed up with crime.

In a rare statement by a politically appointed chief of police, Craig is supportive of armed citizens and believes they deter crime. This is from a Detroit News story, by George Hunter on July 16:

The incident [of the elderly man shooting at reporters on his porce] was the latest in a string of homeowners opening fire to defend themselves, although after a flurry of such shootings early this year, before Monday there hadn’t been a reported incident since May 4 — an indication that criminals are thinking twice about breaking into people’s houses, Craig said.

Detroit has experienced 37 percent fewer robberies in 2014 than during the same period last year, 22 percent fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30 percent fewer carjackings. Craig attributed the drop to better police work and criminals being reluctant to prey on citizens who may be carrying guns.

“Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” said Craig, who has repeatedly said he believes armed citizens deter crime. “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.

“I can’t say what specific percentage is caused by this, but there’s no question in my mind it has had an effect,” Craig said.

Craig made national news in January, when he told The Detroit News he believed armed citizens deter crime — an unusual stance for an urban police chief. In May, the chief was featured in an NRA publication, America’s 1st Freedom, in a cover story titled “A Show of Courage in Detroit,” in which Craig reiterated his support for citizens using guns to protect themselves.

Support for Chief Craig’s conclusions on crime reduction as a result of a well-armed citizenry can be found in many places, including but not limited to the following: Targeting Guns, firearms and their control, by Gary Kleck of Florida State University, finding that as early as the 1990’s there were more than 2 million defensive gun uses in the United States and that in over 90% of the cases the criminal broke off the attack after the presentation of the gun without shots fired; More Guns, Less Crime, Third Edition, by John Lott. Lott’s thesis has been attacked by gun control advocates ever since its first edition appeared over 10 years ago. No serious challenge to Lott’s empirical research has ever been successful in bringing his conclusions into serious question. All the gun haters can say is they don’t like the facts Lott has established.

From April to July of 1994 the Hutus murdered over a half million Tutsis with machetes in Rwanda. Only a very few Tutsis had firearms. None of them were harmed, nor did they harm anyone else. Those few guns enabled those few Tutsis to create a small zone of safety in a sea of murder and mayhem.

Robert Heinlein was correct: A well-armed society is a more polite society. A well-armed society has less crime. A well-armed society is more civilized.

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