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“Most telling, there was research done by felons who were incarcerated, and what they said is that they’re more fearful of armed citizens than they are of police officers. In fact, what I’ve seen in Detroit that’s very different than other places where I’ve lived, is that the suspects here wear body armor. There’s a fear that a good citizen may respond with a firearm.” – Detroit Police Chief James Craig, Detroit police chief defends stance on backing citizens carrying guns [at]

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  1. Wow. He’s all in since becoming born-again, huh? If Detroit actually turns around this would be wonderful anti-anti stuff. Lets hope he doesnt fall victim to an “accident” for his views.

  2. I am loving it – I got TTAG to recognize the detroit news as a trusted source! 🙂

    Craig has had his road to damascus conversion. Amazing what happens when finances and reality hit home.

    • Yeah Dirk, I’m just waiting for the public reminders about open carry being legal. Flint was going to encourage people to open carry there but didn’t have the funds to educate enough people that things like open carry on a bike or motorcycle are considered concealed by state law.

  3. Are there actually any confirmed cases of criminals running around with body armor on? If so, better get to practicing those Mozambique drills if you live in D-Town.

  4. “Most telling, there was research done by felons who were incarcerated,”

    Research done BY felons? Gives a whole new meaning to getting the third degree.

  5. I live 25 miles from the dump that has become Detroit, but the crime still seeps this far north. Like I posted before a gas station attendant complied with a robber last year and still was pistol whipped causing minor brain damage. Situational awareness…and carry if you can.

  6. It sucks that things had to get this bad for him to see it, but good for Craig in doing so.
    In Utah, I had a conversation not too long ago with one of the pre-unified county sheriffs about the whole gun owner/cop thing. He laughed and told me he’s never once been worried about pulling over somebody with a CCW license, it’s scarier to pull over another cop.
    Just need more guys like this one, the one I mention, and Accur81, and people could maybe start trusting the police again a little.

    • It all depends on where cops are from. I’ve got a friend on the local Sheriff’s Dept who grew up here. Same philosophy as the guy you mentioned. I’ve talked with several (8 that I can remember) other LEO’s in AZ and only one was pretty anti-ccw. On the other hand I have a lot of family members that are LEO’s in NY. All of them are shocked at AZ’s gun laws when we discuss such things and are completely against the idea. My brother-in-law is the exception. He was a LEO in New Jersey and moved down south to a freer state with mostly sane guns laws (he’s still a LEO with the local PD). He’s a convert and has no problem with his sister (my wife) carrying a gun everywhere she goes, in fact he encourages it.

      • Let’s just say a group of us got the new Mayor, Duggan, to acknowledge on the radio that he was ok w current gun laws and would not attempt to implement new restrictions. This was on a conservative radio show. We asked three times in different ways last sept. I doubt bloomy wants him now since we have him admitting it.

  7. Criminals in Texas should worry more about armed citizens, too. Here’s a gem from one of our local T.V. stations’ websites yesterday.

    A couple arrived home to find their garage door open and their home burglarized. They called Houston PD who, after two hours, still hadn’t shown up. So the husband, a licensed concealed carrier, goes inside, sees that his iPhone and other items have been stolen, and then takes matters into his own hands. He used Google Earth and the “Find My iPhone” app to pinpoint where his stolen phone was now. “You can’t always rely on someone else,” said the husband.

    He tracked his phone to an apartment complex in Texas City, TX (about 30 minutes south of Houston). Upon arrival, he contacted the TCPD, who actually did show up, recovering the stolen goods and arresting two suspects. No shots fired.

    • My friend’s mom had her car stolen in NYC back in the early 90’s. Her mom and dad reported it stolen of course, but sometime later they started to receive warnings about unpaid parking citations. They contacted the DMV to let them know the car was stolen and asked where the citations originated from so they could pass the information onto the NYPD (which they did). For two more months they continued to receive citation notices even though they kept calling the various police departments and the DMV. The cops never did anything, so my friends dad drove around with his wife in the area that the tickets came from and they found the car (double-parked of course). He stole the car back.

      • The police have no built-in incentive to recover stolen property or even to solve crimes. Therefore, they respond to the lack of incentive: they do nothing.

        Sure, they do solve some crimes, just enough to justify their receipt of stolen money (taxes). But most violent crimes go unsolved and most people in jail are drug “offenders”.

        So the police choose to go after pot smokers instead of violent criminals. This is the definition of cowardice.

        • I agree with most of your statement except the last part. Politicians put incentives (via civil forfeiture laws) for cops to go after people with assets. Of course the “Top Men” in the various local, state and federal police agencies are financially incentivized to go after average citizens (that really haven’t done anything to warrant civil forfeiture) because they have assets. But I really don’t think this kind of thinking is at the forefront of the average LEO. Now as far as the cowardice of the politicians and politically appointed LE brass that use their power to ruin average people’s lives, there are other words besides cowardice I would use.

  8. From the quotes in the article, it seems that Chief Craig may be a TTAG reader. Just in case he is, nice work, Chief Craig. Keep reading.

  9. This didn’t surprise me one bit.
    Criminals fearing armed civilians.
    Its not as if they the criminal would attack a uniformed officer like they would a supposedly unarmed civilian.

    • I recall an interview with a professional burglar maybe ten years ago, but I don’t remember the source. He limited his efforts strictly to the more prosperous homes within the borders of Washington D.C. When captured and asked about this he admitted that even though he had an expensive drug habit to support the one thing he feared more than not being able to fence the stolen goods and get his fix was to stick his head in someone’s window and find himself looking down the barrel of a shotgun. So he stayed in D.C.

  10. I like this guy. He’s forming his opinions based on evidence, rather than talking points or feelings. Well done sir, I hope you can keep your job.

  11. Detroit will emerge from bankruptcy. Like most entities that emerge from bankruptcy with debt pared, I expect they will thrive and show other entities how its done. It will take a few years though.

    • This is assuming they elect people who won’t simply repeat (or continue) the same mistakes. Sounds like the CLEO has it right, but he doesn’t set *nearly* enough policy to fix the city.

  12. As a Michigan resident who has had a scary situation in Detroit, and knows several other people who have, it is a relief to have a police chief who is actually trying to make progress. If we turn Motown around even a little bit, it’ll be a great victory for the gun guys.

    • It will also be a great victory for the chief. If the decent people of Detroit remember that he backed their right to armed self-defense against the destructive predators, then he will have a good legacy to build on in Detroit politics.

      To modify an old saw: Where you stand conditions where you can later sit.

  13. “This is not often talked about: responsibility,” he said. “I do not condone vigilantism. 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.”

    Hallelujah, brother! Shout it to the rooftops. Responsibility. Self-protection.

    Had a Sheriff in a rural NE California county sum this up for me when I was getting my CCW there, back in the 1990s (Modoc County, Sheriff Bruce Mix). His quote: “There are two kinds of people. Forget Democrat/Republican, liberal/conservative. There are people who take personal responsibility for their own actions and their own lives, and people who do not.”

  14. Criminals here just somehow forgot about hitting the Aldi’s…after Nasir open fired on the one right after the CC law was passed, I think it was less than a week. Good going Craig, our Sheriff Clark was with us right from the start though, Randy

  15. worried about body armour? worried your much vaunted .45 wont cut it, well it wont lol, buy a Tokarev and some 7.62 x 25 hot fmj and perforate your armoured criminal at will.

    • I’d love to hear if this was true….unfortunstrly, I’m pretty sure that round is too slow, too big for that kind of performance..

      • The 7.62×25 will penetrate some soft body armor. The thing is… if you shoot through an attacker and harm a bystander half a block away, that’s on you.

        I wouldn’t want to be morally or legally responsible for that.

      • Try .38 super if you like 1911 style guns. .45 is apparently not great at barrier penetration. Something in .39/9mm with a modern bullet and more kick than the Luger cartridge may be the best compromise.

        • There you go. I’m starting to think my next 1911 will be a .38 super.
          If you happen to be Hispanic though, don’t use .38 Super in any of the border states. They’ll know it was you for sure.

    • Not that I’m recommending it, but the reliable way to deal with a criminal wearing SBA is a round of buckshot low, a round high. Essentially the same protocol is used in the military with handguns: Two or three across the pelvis, two or three (depending on your speed) across the shoulder line.

      Accuracy and speed do matter against such an assailant. The use of SBA during the armed commission of a crime should be severely punished. Just my two cents.

  16. Criminals’ fears: armed citizens, big dogs, and police, in that order.

    So, unless you can carry a cop around, get gun and a big dog, hell, get a big gun while you’re at it…

    • A coworker was walking his big dog when some hoods decided they wanted it. It wasn’t the dog that caused them to walk away rather than take on an old man in force. Police dogs specifically though seem effective at changing minds.

  17. At least he backs citizens right to defend, Milwaukee, WI police chief is a liberal douche, HOWEVER, the Milwaukee County Sherriff is another great top LEO…

    • I remember when ccw first came to Wisconsin, and the sheriff was behind it, but the Milwaukee COP was all atwitter–and even though open carry was legal all along, even today you get arrested for “disturbing the peace” if you do it in Milwaukee. typical big city cop–thinks citizens should not have guns. Same bull in D.C., where only residents with registered handguns are allowed to possess ammunition–and only as long as the ammunition, or ammunition component, is the same caliber as the registered weapon.

  18. A black Detroit police chief extolling the virtues of armed self defence? Does Eric Holder know about this?

  19. Does this article mean that I need to brush up on head shot type combat accuracy!? Damn it! Back to the range to burn more ammo that I can’t replace….

    • detroiter,

      I know ammunition is somewhat expensive right now. At any rate I suspect about a thousands rounds for practice will impart the necessary skill to accurately place shots into a four inch circle which is 6 feet away.

      Oh, and when I say place shots accurately, I mean quickly without having to sight down the barrel of your handgun — in other words “point shooting”.

      It definitely takes a bit of cash to acquire that skill … it sure is a nice skill to have though!

      P.S. You probably cannot practice this at a local indoor range. I suspect that you will have to go to an isolated wooded area to practice drawing and shooting. Alternatively, you can purchase an inexpensive AirSoft pistol and practice in your back yard!

  20. “In fact, what I’ve seen in Detroit that’s very different than other places where I’ve lived, is that the suspects here wear body armor. There’s a fear that a good citizen may respond with a firearm.” – Detroit Police Chief James Craig

    We are winning. I know it doesn’t seem like it in California or the New England states. But we are nevertheless winning. When is the last time a large city police chief has ever made statements like Chief Craig has made — especially police chiefs who lived and worked for 20+ years in an anti state like California?!?!?!?

  21. So how is he having this position without losing his job? My understanding is that the reason most police chiefs are pro-gun control is because they answer to a mayor and a city council, and they can thus either be fired by the mayor or demoted via a vote of the council. So they either tow the line on gun control or lose their job. Detroit is one of the most left-wing cities in the nation, so how exactly is he maintaining a pro-gun position?

    • Detroit’s police chief will keep his job because the populace in Michigan has turned the corner and embraced gun rights. Once that happens, there is no going back.

      Additionally, Detroit has the second highest violent crime rate per capita in the United States. What else would the police chief say to city residents? Would he try to tell residents that they would better off with no means to defend themselves? And to make matters worse, the shrinking population and tax base have forced some pretty drastic reductions in police staffing levels and a corresponding increase in response times to 911 calls. Furthermore, armed citizens are taking out a lot of violent criminals in Detroit and the residents are hearing about it. In fact I think the Detroit metropolitan area leads the nation in legally justified homicides.

      When a resident looks at the awful response times and how often citizens actually defend themselves with their firearms, the required course of action is obvious and people are taking it. When you boil it down, having armed citizens just plain works and citizens know it. Mayors and city council members have no desire to piss off those citizens.

      I predict the same thing (residents arming themselves and embracing it) is going to happen in Chicago in about 10 years … much to the chagrin of members of city government.

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