Except among dyed-in-the-wool anti-gun fanatics, it is a commonly accepted fact that Right-to-Carry laws not only do not cause crime to increase, they may deter violent crimes. It is also firmly established that people who have carry permits are statistically more law-abiding then people who do not. And the number of RTC states and carry permit holders reached all-time highs as the nation's murder rate fell to nearly an all-time low.
That brings us to Detroit, which has seen its share of crime over the years and which in 2012 had the highest murder rate of any major U.S. city. The Detroit News reports that the city's police chief, James Craig, offered a solution to reduce crime: allowing law-abiding citizens to obtain concealed carry permits. That's not a position typically espoused by big-city police chiefs. And Chief Craig didn't always think that way either.
According to the article, Craig had worked for nearly 30 years in the Los Angeles Police Department, before moving east to become the police chief in Portland, Maine. It was there, in Maine, that he started believing that law-abiding gun owners could deter crime.
"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 CCWs (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."
Chief Craig's statements echo those he made last month, when he said that good citizens with concealed pistol licenses, "translates into crime reduction."
And the numbers bear that out. The article notes that Detroit police have reported 73 "justifiable homicides" in the city since 2011, 15 of them occurring in 2013. Most of these cases involved citizens like 77-year-old Willie White, who in 2012, fatally shot a man who'd broken into his home. White's home had been broken into several times before, but after he defended himself, the break-ins stopped.
"I think these criminals would definitely think twice if they knew more citizens were armed," White said. "I know it stopped them from breaking into my place."