Constitutional Freedoms

Detroit Police Chief Is Bucking the Urban Anti-Gun Trend

James Craig is a breath of fresh air to Americans concerned about the increasing infringement on their Second Amendment rights

When the National Rifle Association honors a big-city police chief on the cover of one of its magazines, you know you are witnessing a special circumstance — and a special person.

There is often a political divide between rank-and-file law enforcement officers and their chiefs and sheriffs. It occurs with police chiefs in particular, since police chiefs are appointed by mayors with input from their city councils, while most sheriffs are elected.

With so many large American cities run by leftists today, it’s these mayors who appoint police chiefs.

Often, the appointees serve at the pleasure of the mayors and can be booted if they don’t conform to political expectations.

An anomaly in big-city policing, Detroit Police Chief James Craig is a breath of fresh air to Americans concerned about the increasing infringement on their Second Amendment rights.

This is especially true in leftist-run urban jurisdictions — but, thankfully, not in Detroit, Michigan.

For years, Chief Craig has been standing up for the people he swore to protect and serve. And he’s serving them not only by helping to protect them, but also by recognizing their God-given right to protect themselves.

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The decline of Detroit is tragic, as well as a cautionary tale for the rest of America. Under decades of liberal Democrat rule, Detroit descended into a crime-ridden city that lost a quarter of its population. The crime statistics were staggering. David Burnett of America’s 1st Freedom magazine reported that in 2012, residents of the city suffered 5,000 robberies, 400 rapes, and over 1,250 non-fatal shootings.

Burnett highlighted several instances in which Detroit residents defended themselves from criminals, with firearms — something Chief Craig applauds. In many of the cases, a simply display by the would-be victim of the weapon — or that person even firing but not striking the attackers — was enough to scare the suspects away.

Chief Craig believes if “more responsible citizens were armed,” criminals would “think twice about attacking” people.

“We’re not advocating violence. We’re advocates of not being victims. We’re advocates of self-protection. We want people to be safe,” Craig told The Detroit News in early 2014.

Chief Craig is to be commended for his brave, common-sense approach to public safety. He recognizes that the right to keep and bear arms is the right to self-defense.

And he knows police response times can’t beat an armed resident’s response time.

During Craig’s first year as chief in 2014 and as a steadfast advocate for private gun ownership, Detroit reported a 37-percent decrease in robberies, which Craig gives credit to armed citizens, The Washington Times reported. Craig told The Detroit News, “Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon.”

One 60-year-old man who described himself as a “former criminal” told that same publication, “If I was out there now robbing people these days, knowing there are a lot more people with guns, I know I’d have to rethink my game plan.”

As a retired cop and as a gun owner, it’s striking to me that people who don’t own guns, and who don’t know anything about guns, are the people trying to decide for gun owners whether they should be allowed to exercise their constitutional rights to own and carry guns.

Aside from arming ordinary, law-abiding citizens, Craig also advocates for training and arming teachers who wish to carry a firearm. Every cop knows this would dramatically reduce the delay between the first 911 call and the arrival of the first officers at a school shooting.

During a 2018 interview with radio station WWJ-950, Craig said, “I think it makes sense. These mass shooting incidents — they happen between four and six minutes. Police are notified. The fastest police will get there could be as soon as a few minutes to eight minutes, and so by that time … the carnage has happened. So this is about the business of mitigating a threat.”

The chief also made headlines recently when he rebuked Democratic squad member Rep. Rashida Talib (D-Mich.) for insisting that “only black analysts should be hired to the department’s racial recognition team because non-African-Americans think African-Americans all look the same.”

Related: Tlaib Told Police Chief to Hire Only Black Analysts for Facial-Recognition Software

Projection? You be the judge.

Chief Craig is using common sense at the helm of the Detroit Police Department.

You can catch up with what’s happening with armed Detroiters even as Democrat presidential candidates promise to take guns away from Americans — including those in Detroit.

Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” aired a special two-part report in recent days, highlighting armed Detroit residents who are alive today because they were armed.

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of LifeZette.

Steve Pomper
meet the author

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer. He's served as a field training officer on the East Precinct Community Police Team and as a precinct mountain bike coordinator. He's also the author of four books, including "De-Policing America: A Street Cop's View of the Anti-Police State."

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