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Detroit police chief backs citizen self-defense: Homeowners should take up arms

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The Motor City is known for many things – its Motown music and car manufacturing being at the top of most lists. Michigan’s most populous city also has the undesirable moniker as consistently being in top ten lists for highest crime rates.

Perhaps that’s why Detroit Police Chief James Craig has advocated for a “home-style” solution to help drive down crime – citizens should arm themselves and be prepared to fire on any would-be robbers, shares WSPD.com on Monday.

According to neighborhoodscout.com, residents of Detroit report approximately 80 crimes per year for every 1,000 households. The city has an adverse crime index of two percent – meaning that 98 percent of major metropolitans in the U.S. rank as safer than the Motor City.

Despite the fact that most inner-city police seem to favor gun control, Craig’s views have evolved into the opposite perspective. Craig says his opinions were shaped by the time he spent working in areas like Los Angeles, where he spent three decades in law enforcement and where it "takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit," and Maine, where permits were much more easily obtained.

“I changed my orientation real quick,” Craig said, adding that when he first arrived in Maine he was denying “stacks” of Carrying Concealed Weapon permits. “Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”

Now in Detroit, Chief Craig credits the decrease in crime to the “number of concealed-carry permit holders running around the city.” Craig’s words came earlier this year at a press conference announcing a slight decrease in his city’s crime rates.

Craig said that crooks are hesitant to act in a criminal way if they believe the homeowner on the other side of the door is armed, while at the same time admitting his police force cannot keep up with the violent crimes.

“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 words reflect what many gun advocates have been saying all along – mirroring Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, who notably said in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings in Newtown: “The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun,” he said, “is a good guy with a gun.”

It’s not often that big city decision makers come forth with such an unyielding point of view. But Craig is determined to see his city taken back from the criminal element.

In 2011, a survey of police officers by the National Association of Chiefs of Police found that 98 percent of those surveyed believe “any law-abiding citizen [should] be able to purchase a firearm for sport and self-defense.”

Where do you fall on the hot-button topic of arming citizens? Sound off below.

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