NRA magazine champions Detroit Police Chief Craig on gun rights

Inside America's First Freedom magazine
Inside America’s First Freedom magazine

Detroit Police Chief James Craig is becoming an influential figure in the gun-rights movement after encouraging law-abiding residents earlier this year to defend themselves with guns.

Most recently, Craig was featured on the cover of the June 2014 edition of America’s First Freedom,¬†an NRA magazine, ¬†showing his support for the second-amendment. In it, he is photographed in an abandoned section of the city, striking a stoic pose.

Highlights of the interview:

Observations after becoming Detroit’s police chief:
“There were two things I saw coming in the door that were unique: It wasn’t always uncommon that suspects would be wearing body armor during the commission of a crime, and/or secondly suspects directing victims to disrobe. And the reason for both was to determine whether or not the victim was armed. I found it odd, having worked in other large cities where I didn’t see it, not at this level of frequency.

On self-defense shootings in Detroit:
“So this trend actually started before I arrived here. So it refutes the notion that I’m inciting vigilantism. That’s far from the truth. When you look at Detroit, I’m happy to report we re driving crime down, and certainly the Detroit Police Department is doing a phenomenal job arresting the right people.”

On improving Detroit’s response time:
“When I arrived here nine month ago, it’s no secret that when it came to response time, we were recognized as having a 50-minute response time to some emergency calls. That has changed. We set a goal for 2014 to respond to high priority 911 calls in five minutes. We haven’t reached that as of yet, but we’re averaging been 8 and 11 minutes.

On denying concealed gun permits after becoming chief of police in Portland, Maine:
“I began to deny each and every one of them until my staff came in and said, “Whoa Chief! This is Maine, and we love our guns. And if you haven’t noticed, it’s a safe city.” I started to reflect on that. I took the response of my staff seriously and really reflected and realized, “Great point.” That’s when my origination began to change.”

On Detroit in 20 years:
“I believe that Detroit, because of the resilience and can-do attitude of people who live here, that Detroit will regain its luster. It will be one of our premier cities.”

Statements in support of gun rights:
“I believe responsible, good Americans have a right to protect themselves from an immediate threat to their life or to the life of another.”

“I believe our focus should be on how to keep guns out of hands of criminals and those who aren’t responsible.”

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • Brent Heritier

    He had me until NRA.

    • Dust Buster

      please elaborate. was it the 3 letters in all caps that threw you?

      • Marian Pyszko

        In defense of Brent, the NRA was behind the 1968 Gun Control Act and is seen by many as not very pro 2nd Amendment but rather masquerading as a gun rights organization.

  • Black Junior

    Although I generally don’t agree with James Craig on alot of his views in this case I don’t mind his opinion…

    • Marian Pyszko

      Amen. I will give Chief Craig a pass on many things because he is the ONLY person in any role of authority in America encouraging law abiding people to protect themselves rather than be victims. GOD BLESS CHIEF CRAIG!

  • Guest

    Why is he wearing a uniform when he has dodged the cop exams in both Ohio and Michigan because he’s an idiot with a phony online degree? This guy is a clown. He took away crime transparency and is free to manipulate the data how he wants. And Detroit media will let him get away with it because smoke and mirrors and billionaires renting apartments to naive kids and selling sports tickets is more important than telling people Detroit is a war zone nobody should visit.

  • JC

    If it wasn’t for the NRA and all the gun nuts, the chief would have to face the fact that he’s an utter failure. Your job is to protect citizens, not draft them into a paramilitary force.
    As for the response time- how do you go from nearly one hour to less than 10 minutes? With less resources? The chief is definitely playing with the numbers.

    • Marian Pyszko

      JC, The role of the public is critical in creating a safe community. People such as yourself that dumped all of societies problems onto “Government” then expect peace are misguided. Chief Craig is just what Detroit (and Chicago) needs. When law abiding citizens see a felony in progress they should and can under Michigan law make a citizens arrest on the spot. There is nothing wrong with the law abiding citizen from carrying guns and reacting to criminal activity in accordance to state law.

      • JC

        You should take your own advice. Drive through the city and when you see a crime being committed, make an arrest.

        • Marian Pyszko

          I have. The police were dumbfounded at first but appreciative a wanted felon was taken off the streets. I am routinely parked on Cass Ave and have no problem defending myself but also help others in need. Sitting by and doing nothing is the lazy approach to crime fighting.

          • bebow

            Why should 95% of us be expected to pay for phantom service?

          • Marian Pyszko

            Government is not set up to solve all of our problems. It’s up to the citizens to create a safe environment and keep the peace.

        • Dust Buster

          the problem with doing that, as you know is one of two things will happen if he intervenes. he will either get utashed or be zimmermaned

          • Marian Pyszko

            I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6………

    • Dust Buster

      sadly you are mistaken. if you really think your safety and that of your family is to have 911 on speed dial and sit tight then you may want to rethink your strategy.

      p.s. by gun nuts do you mean the illegal gang bangers that shoot 4 to 8 others every night in detroit with stolen guns? or do you mean legal adults with permits and all of their paperwork straight that dont shoot people?