Guns & Crime: A Police Chief’s Epiphany

From The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 7, 2014

Here’s a breath of fresh, reasonable and logical air from a prototypically unlikely source:

The Police Chief of Detroit says an armed citizenry is an effective deterrent to crime.

Chief James Craig said during a news conference last week that if more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, reports The Detroit News.

Gee, that’s what responsible gun owners have been saying forever.

Mr. Craig didn’t always feel this way. He was a member of the Los Angeles police for 28 years — “where (in California) it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapons permit” — then, in 2009, became police chief in Portland, Maine, where such permits are easier to obtain. Craig’s “orientation,” he said, was to deny many applications.

“I changed my orientation real quick,” he told The News. “Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”

Put another way, as the chief did last month on Detroit’s WJR, “There’s a number of CPL (concealed pistol license) holders running around the City of Detroit. I think it acts as a deterrent. Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction.”

By the way, Detroit’s violent crime rate dropped by 7 percent last year.

So, there you have it — a respected top cop who cut his policing teeth in a tough L.A. environment now in another tough law-enforcement climate having a gun epiphany. Welcome to the fold, Chief Craig.

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