Coming up through the ranks as a police officer in Los Angeles, James Craig was well-versed in liberal policies of gun control, background checks, weapon registration and keeping a tight control on concealed weapons permits.
But he’s learned since then that such tyrannical laws don’t make people safe and only embolden criminals.
His experience culminated in Craig, now police chief in crime-ridden Detroit, telling residents to arm themselves.
“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits,” he said on Thursday, “the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department.”
In December, Craig similarly praised an armed citizenry, saying on “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR Radio, “There’s a number of (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. I learned that real quick in the state of Maine.”
A study published in November in the academic journal Applied Economic Letters found that passing restrictions on gun ownership may actually increase murder rates, despite liberal claims that more guns means more violence.
The study looked at data from 1980 to 2009 and found that states with restrictions on carrying of concealed weapons had higher murder rates. The study also found that bans on so-called “assault weapons” did not affect murder rates.
Other studies have found similar results, suggesting that restricting carrying of concealed weapons may increase murder rates, the authors concluded.
At the Thursday press conference, Craig discussed how he changed his views on guns.
He said: “Coming from California, where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation. I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”
Craig has also spoken in favor of “stop and frisk” policies in the past, saying they’re not racist in a town like Detroit, where 85 percent of the population is black.
Detroit is a city in freefall, a virtual battle zone after decades of solid Democratic control. If Craig is willing to walk the walk as well as talk the talk by encouraging the arming of citizens, then this may be an excellent test case to prove once and for all the folly of gun control.