Detroit Police Chief James Craig believes that citizens who carry guns are serving as an effective crime deterrent, the Detroit News reports.
“Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” Craig said. “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.”
“I can’t say what specific percentage is caused by this, but there’s no question in my mind it has had an effect.”
Craig’s statement comes in the wake of a series of hopeful statistics for crime-hating citizens. Compared to last year, Detroit has experienced 37 percent fewer robberies, 22 percent fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30 percent fewer carjackings. Craig believes the promising numbers result from more citizens using firearms to defend themselves.
Craig has been an outspoken proponent for the positive effect of armed citizens since January, despite a few published studies that claim just the opposite.
“Our position is, more guns equals more crime,” said Josh Horwitz, director of the Washington D.C.-based Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “These are complicated issues, but the empirical evidence shows the states with the lowest gun ownership and the tightest restrictions have the fewest instances of gun violence.”
But Detroiter Al Woods, himself a former criminal and current anti-violence advocate, sees the effectiveness of an armed citizenry.
“If I was out there now robbing people these days,” Woods said, “knowing there are a lot more people with guns, I know I’d have to rethink my game plan.”