James Craig spent 28 years on the force in Los Angeles and believed that cracking down on concealed carry permits was the right path toward a kinder and gentler society. Then he moved to Main where there were more guns and it was safer.
Now as chief of police in one of America’s most dangerous cities, Detroit, he believes that legally armed citizens could make the difference in his city.
At a press conference outside police headquarters he had this to say. “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, or CCWs]] and I had a stck of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation,” he said. “I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”
Gun prohibition activists say they were shocked at his implication that an armed society is a polite society and repeatedly scoffed at the suggestion that there was any evidence to back it up.
However, the supposed non-existent evidence has been published in Volume 21, Issue 4, of the prestigious Applied Economic Letters, whose editorial board includes professors from Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, MIT and more.
According to the study, even after adjusting for state and year specific trends, passing restrictive concealed weapons laws may actually increase murder rates.
Mark Gius of Quinnipiac University says the findings are, “consistent with some prior research in this area most notably Lott and Mustard (1997).”
During a recent interview on Detroit radio station WJR’s “The Paul W. Smith Show,” host Paul Smith asked Craig whether he knew of any instances of the “Knockout Game,” a reported violent game of sucker-punching strangers, in Detroit.
“I think folks, the people who would engage in that foolishness, probably know that there’s a number of CPL (Concealed Pistol License) holders running round the streets of Detroit,” Craig said. “Probably not a real good idea.”
“I think it’s a deterrent,” he added. “Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction, too. I learned that very quickly in the state of Maine. A lot of CPL holders.”
Saying that Craig is pro-gun may not be accurate because he still recommends many restrictions on firearms, but at least he is recognizing that honest citizens carrying guns can be a powerful deterrent to crime. He’s also come under fire for claiming that the “stop and frisk” policy in Detroit is not racist even though the city is 85 percent black.
Craig himself is bi-racial. Perhaps he has a better understanding of the race’s propensity toward crime and consequences for law abiding citizens (whether white or non-white) when violence is allowed to continue and escalate unchecked.