Legal Gun Owners Can Deter Crime, Says Detroit Police Chief

ReasonReasonDetroit Police Chief James Craig has said that legal gun owners can deter crime, a position he adopted after becoming police chief in Portland, Maine in 2009. According to Craig, “Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”

From The Detroit News:

Detroit— If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Thursday.

Urban police chiefs are typically in favor of gun control or reluctant to discuss the issue, but Craig on Thursday was candid about how he’s changed his mind.

“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at a press conference at police headquarters, adding that he thinks more Detroit citizens feel safer, thanks in part to a 7 percent drop in violent crime in 2013.

The Detroit News also notes that Robyn Thomas, the director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco, disagrees with Craig on the relationship between gun ownership and crime:

“I think at its core, his position is an emotional one, based on the idea that people feel safer when they have guns. But studies have shown more guns don’t deter crime,” Thomas said. “There’s no research that shows guns make anyone safer, and it does show that, the more guns in any situation, the higher the likelihood of them harming either the owner, or people who have access to them.”

Make sure to read the blog post by Reason’s Ron Bailey on a recent study written by Quinnipiac University economist Mark Gius on the effects assault weapons bans and concealed carry laws have on murder rates. 

From the abstract of Guis’ study:

Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level.

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H/T Chris Staley

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  • Andrew S.||

    Given that it's Detroit, I'd have to have some serious military-style ordinance before I'd feel safe.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Or an Auto 9.

  • sarcasmic||

    “I think at its core, his position is an emotional one, based on the idea that people feel safer when they have guns.

    Uh, no. It's based on the idea that criminals prefer unarmed victims over people who can defend themselves.

    But studies have shown more guns don’t deter crime,” Thomas said. “There’s no research that shows guns make anyone safer, and it does show that, the more guns in any situation, the higher the likelihood of them harming either the owner, or people who have access to them.”

    Translation: All of the stacks of research that show how more guns deter crime were bought and paid for by the gun lobby and the NRA. Real research that wasn't funded by corporations shows otherwise.

  • wwhorton||

    Funny how emotions are sometimes associated with physical, objectively verifiable phenomena. For instance, I have a warm, fuzzy feeling when I hear the thermostat kick on, because I know I'm not going to freeze to death tonight.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department...

    The likelihood they'll shoot? I'm not entirely sure what he's saying here.

  • wwhorton||

    Weird. I would've guessed that it would be somehow related to the proximity of someone threatening them with imminent harm.

  • some guy||

    They are more likely to shoot because they know they'll get away with it? It is Detroit after all. I wouldn't be surprised if they have a different definition of "good community member" up there.

  • Raston Bot||

    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.

    hehe

  • Wiregrass||

    I'd say it's also an emotional argument that people feel safer because just because some other people don't have guns.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Is that anything like how I feel safer when the people around me have guns?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    “There’s no research that shows guns make anyone safer, and it does show that, the more guns in any situation, the higher the likelihood of them harming either the owner, or people who have access to them.”

    Really?

    But it's that other guy who's relying on a kneejerk emotional argument.

  • wwhorton||

    Does the person who has broken into the gun owner's home count as a person with access to the gun? Because I'll readily grant you that gun ownership probably results in a high rate of harm to that particular demographic.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco"

    You were expecting non-emotionall biased presentation of actual facts instead of bullshit pulled out of the ass from this person?

  • Live Free or Diet||

    “There’s no research that shows guns make anyone safer, and it does show that, the more guns in any situation, the higher the likelihood of them harming either the owner, or people who have access to them.”

    "An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates"
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi.....scWhFu1ySq

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.

    Asshole.

  • BardMetal||

    I wonder how he would feel if he found out one of those people he was denying ended up being the victim of a serious crime, while he was just sitting there with that stack of permits.

  • Rich||

    "If it saves just one life, I can't be concerned about that."

  • Rich||

    "There’s no research that shows guns make anyone safer," said Robyn Thomas, the director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco.]

    "No RESEARCH-research done by our Center, that is," s/he clarified.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Don't they mean Law Center to Prevent Gun Ownership? Because I'm pretty sure that they would be against any solutions that would actually decrease gun violence. Such as CCW for the law abiding and locking up violent repeat offenders for life.

  • DaveSs||

    "Law Center to Prevent Gun Ownership"

    I refer to the Brady morons the same way.

    On the yay for freedom side, Illinois opened its CCW registration yesterday. My app is submitted and now the big question is, will they take the entire 90 days the law allows, or will they send them out as they complete them.

  • LarryA||

    Good luck.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Robyn Thomas is a moron.

    -jcr

  • The Knarf Yenrab||

    Gymnasts less prone to obesity than programmers. Cats less likely to eat carrots than rabbits. Criminals less likely to victimize armed populace than disarmed populace.

    More headline news after this brief commercial break.

  • OldMexican||

    [Robyn] Thomas said[:] "There's no research that shows guns make anyone safer[...]"


    Wishes are not the same as facts. There is plenty of research that shows the contrary.

  • R C Dean||

    There's no research that shows guns make anyone safer

    Then why do cops insist on carrying them?

  • Byte Me||

    In other news: The Earth is round, water is wet, and fire BURNS.

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