Detroit Residents Arming Up For Self-Defense

Detroit’s new police chief says there are “too many guns on the streets,” but with many residents choosing to obtain their concealed carry licenses, the real issue isn’t how many guns are out there but how many individuals are illegally using guns in the commission of violent crimes. The answer, unfortunately, is “too many,” and as we detail on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, the rising violence is leading to a surge in support for self-defense.

The website Bridge Detroit recently spoke to several gun owners in the Motor City who have legally armed themselves over the past few years, and many of them have embraced their right of self-defense after being the victims of violent crimes themselves or after watching crime grow in their own neighborhoods.

Richard Faulkner, a 66-year-old Detroiter living on the city’s northwest side, said he owns a gun to protect his home and his family. He said he decided to learn more about guns after witnessing an attempted break-in at his next door neighbor’s house about five years ago.

… Vaudia Fleming is a 30-year-old Detroiter who lives on the city’s northwest side. Fleming first learned how to use a gun when he was in basic training for the Navy back in 2010. He bought his first handgun, a Glock 23, in 2014 after noticing a string of shootings near his neighborhood.

“Guns are an easy way to protect yourself,” said Fleming, who owns six guns, including three pistols, two shotguns and an AR-15, a military-style rifle.

… Marcus Davis, 27, owns multiple guns, including a 9mm handgun, G-22 assault rifle and 12-gauge shotgun.

“You definitely should learn about gun laws and how to fire a gun, no matter which way you lean, pro-gun or anti-gun. Especially being Black in America, because the police might not protect you,” said Davis, who lives on the northwest side of Detroit.

One of the most compelling stories comes from a woman named Tanisha Moner, who was kidnapped, robbed, and sexually assaulted as a teenager. A few years later, she was twice robbed at gunpoint while working as a manager at Burger King. Moner says she was left with post-traumatic stress disorder and a “severe” fear of firearms, but she decided to conquer those fears by taking a basic firearms course, which completely changed the direction of her life.

Moner now teaches gun safety to metro Detroit women. The class started 10 years ago as a way to teach women how to defend themselves. This year, the class was taught at two gun ranges in Taylor. The annual class was started by Rick Ector, a National Rifle Association-certified gun instructor in Detroit. Ector didn’t become a gun enthusiast until adulthood after being robbed at gunpoint in his driveway in 2006.

Ector’s latest class brought in more than 1,000 women over a two-day period, which shows that the demand for personal protection is still growing in the Detroit area. Unfortunately, there are still some barriers between those women and their rights, including delays in processing concealed carry applications, though things appear to have gotten slightly better since a lawsuit was filed earlier this year. Back in March the Wayne County Clerk had a year-long wait to even apply for a license, but now the clerk’s office is accepting applications and it’s now reportedly taking about 90 days or so for them to be processed. The lawsuit, by the way, ended up being dismissed by a judge after Wayne County magically ended up approving the applications of all the named plaintiffs, but it could be re-filed if the delays persist in the future.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a second round of litigation, though I hope that it proves to be unnecessary. Given the anti-gun attitudes of many elected officials in Wayne County and the city of Detroit, however, I think some skepticism is warranted.