In Detroit, Michigan several incidences of armed homeowner involved shootings have been reported in recent weeks. According to WDIV Local 4, at least four cases have occurred where homeowners using guns to defend themselves, shot, and twice killed intruders or carjackers.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig told WDIV, “Lot of good Detroiters are fed up.” According to Deadline Detroit and The Detroit News , in an unusual declaration for a big city police chief, in January Craig stated that he thinks that if more Detroiters were legally armed, it would deter criminals. With the latest string of shootings, Craig talked to the station and reiterated his stance. “The message should be that, you know, people are going to protect themselves. They’re tired, they’ve been dealing with this epidemic of violence, they’re afraid and they have a right to protect themselves.”
Reports indicate that Chief Craig’s position on the issue of an armed citizenry changed after he served as the police chief of Portland, Maine in 2009. Craig served with the Los Angeles Police Department for 28 years where he said, “…it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit.” Once in Portland, Craig found himself denying a “stack” of Carrying Concealed Weapon (CCW) permits in a state where many CCWs are handed out. But he says, “I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”
Chief Craig told WDIV, “If you are confronted with an immediate threat to your safety, you’re not going to have time to dial 911, you know. I mean, so it becomes an issue of, the threat’s here, I have to respond to the threat.” Though he does make it known that the threat needs to be coming at a homeowner and armed citizens cannot chase a suspect down with a gun. In those cases, 911 needs to be called upon.
The chief said that the Detroit Police Department will continue to aggressively search and arrest suspects involved in the recent cases. Craig added, “Suspects in Detroit gotta worry about a couple of things. They’ve got to worry about a police department that’s going to aggressively find you when you commit acts of violence. And you gotta also worry about the good Detroiters who are not going to put up with the violence.”