Detroit Police Chief James Craig has been voicing his support for Detroiters who’ve defended themselves during home invasions by shooting the intruders. "I think it's a deterrent," Craig said in January, regarding armed law-abiding citizens. "Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction, too."
At a meeting of the Detroit Police Commission on Thursday, Craig denied criticism from a community activist that he advocates vigilantism:
However, I do support the Constitution of this United States. I didn't write the laws or write the Second Amendment but I happen to be an advocate of self defense. Self defense when someone's faced with imminent, the emphasis on imminent threat to their life or someone else, they have the right to protect one's self.
I call this revolutionary because there are precious few examples in historical memory where respect is paid to the Bill of Rights in this most Democratic of failed one-party urban disaster areas. “Prior to Craig,” as Gus Burns at MLive writes,
“other Detroit police chiefs have taken an approach that every gun poses a threat, a sentiment exhibited by gun buyback events that sought to remove both legal and illegal guns from the streets in exchange for cash.”
On Thursday Craig was responding to specific criticism of his radical notions about good and evil. “Ron Scott, founder of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, didn't like the use of Craig's language identifying ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ citizens, which he believes creates unnecessary divisiveness.” (Police Chief James Craig: 'The things I've seen in Detroit I have not seen in other places”). Scott is a former Black Panther, and it shows, first in his thoroughgoing distrust of the police, and then in the endless skeins of incomprehensible syntax he can pump out. If this is the way he talks, you can just imagine how he thinks.
So it isn’t much of a surprise that Scott disapproves of Craig’s straightforward moral distinction between armed good guys and violent, predatory criminals. Scott’s bursting-its-banks explanation includes this:
I don’t subscribe to that ‘good guy bad guy’ mentality. There are people who find themselves in situations and circumstances where they either begin to engage in underground activity, as a way of life, because of their direction or they’re people who are in the framework where at one time or the other they find themselves at odds with the law. Therefore, to use that as a hammer to hit upside somebody’s head, especially motivated by money coming from the federal government, specifically which creates that scenario, is nothing more than a continuation of the encroachment of the military state.
I speak 1960s, so let me translate: the criminals are victims, too, so don’t say they’re asking for it or you’re helping the Gestapo.
Ridiculous, yes. But Scott’s crazy recipe has been passed down through five decades of Democratic policy-making. It’s all there, from the bad old days of Detroit’s judges refusing to lock up violent offenders to the city’s tawdry love affairs with crooked politicians whose self-serving decisions make everything worse.
But that’s another subject. The point here is that, somehow, Detroit has ended up with a police chief who, if he weren’t commenting on only the latest instance in which a good guy or gal with a gun put a sudden end to a bad guy’s violent career, could just as effectively be recording spots for the NRA.
But we’d better not say that out loud. Some people like to think self-defense is their own new idea.