Defensive Carry banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Council locked and loaded -- literally | freep.com | Detroit Free Press

November 10, 2009

ROCHELLE RILEY

Council locked and loaded -- literally

BY ROCHELLE RILEY
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST

Come January, a majority of the Detroit City Council will be packing.

When seven of nine newly elected or re-elected council members held their first joint conversation with the news media, they talked budget cuts and efficiency. But three also revealed that they have concealed-weapons permits and carry guns. A fourth confirmed later that he does, too.

And the Rev. Andre Spivey, pastor of St. Paul AME, said he plans to get his CCW permit before Thanksgiving.

"My members have been telling me for years to get one, before I even ran for council," he said. "It's not an indictment upon the citizens of Detroit but just for my own personal assurances. I was concerned that the city of Detroit not turn into the wild, wild West, but I've talked with several incumbents, and the office presents some challenges. I don't feel I have to use it, but I'll feel more comfortable having it."

The disclosures that Gary Brown, Kwame Kenyatta, Charles Pugh and James Tate are usually armed (Pugh was wearing his gun in the WWJ studios for last Thursday's conversation) arose as members answered questions about whether to save the city money by giving up council security details.

Personal police protection

The Free Press reported in February that, despite the city's $300-million budget deficit, the council has a full-time, nine-officer police unit. Eleven cities surveyed by the Free Press with populations and government bodies about the size of Detroit's limit security for their members mostly to council meetings. None have a designated unit.

Former council President Monica Conyers' security team traveled with her on business trips to San Francisco, Atlanta and Orlando because the council president gets security service from the time he or she leaves home until they return at night.

Council members also can request individual security when they feel threatened.

Pugh said he has received death threats, and Kenyatta said that members sometimes must ward off irate citizens. Tate, who like Brown is a former police officer, said that as the spokesman for the department, he used to be mistaken for a homicide detective.

"If good-hearted people can confuse me with an officer, then people with ulterior motives would mistake me for one as well," he said. (He has had his permit for two years.).

Council members Brenda Jones and JoAnn Watson said they have neither permits nor guns. Watson, who with member Ken Cockrel Jr., didn't attend the conversation, said later that her "preference of protection is spiritual."

Cockrel said personal security is a private issue.

"That's just one of those damned if you do, damned if you don't questions," he said.

Like Pugh, Cockrel said he has received death threats, though most came last year "from people who saw me as out to get the mayor."

No laughing matter

The disclosures elicited some nervous laughter in the WWJ studio in Southfield last Thursday. But newly elected Saunteel Jenkins was not laughing about the gun issue at the session sponsored by WWJ and the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Jenkins, whose 14-year-old brother was a victim of gun violence, said carrying guns sends the wrong message.

"When I say I'm anti-violence I mean it," she said the next day. "It's an indication of the failure of leadership in this city when people think that the only way to protect themselves is to strap on a gun. That's exactly where we don't want to be in this city, taking the law into our own hands. It made me kind of sad.

"I wished I had spoken up" at the studio "and said, 'This is no joking matter.' ... We don't want this to be what we become."

It is quite the conundrum: To carry or not to carry in a city where gun violence is as prevalent as Temptations music, so mundane that children are used to it.

"I know firsthand the impact of gun violence," Jenkins said. Guns are "why we have a greater level of violence than any other industrial country because we have more guns on the street. You can't do a drive-by stabbing. Seven kids at a bus stop wouldn't get stabbed. Part of the solution to Detroit's problems is getting guns off the street."

But Spivey said the matter may be a practical one.

"I'll be coming home later more often," said the minister, who added that his wife will be trained with him in firearm use and safety. "I hope no one will be out to hurt me or any councilperson. But we're in a different age."

So a new council that has appeared determined to get along and to agree on most issues may have one that divides them: whether to leave their guns at the door.

Thoughts? Rochelle would like to hear from you on this issue. Please send your comments directly to her e-mail below. Contact ROCHELLE RILEY: [email protected] Free Press staff writer M.L. Elrick contributed to this column.
I certainly understand why one would carry in the D. I moved to the city recently from the burbs, which is the main reason why I bought a pistol and got my permit. The police force is overworked, understaffed, and corrupt. If you need the police, don't plan on them coming for at least a half hour, if they ever come at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,954 Posts
"And the Rev. Andre Spivey, pastor of St. Paul AME, said he plans to get his CCW permit before Thanksgiving."

In Wayne County???
I hope he applied about 6 months ago:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,034 Posts
When I lived/worked in MI I spent time with a Detroit councilman. He didn't carry, but had a "driver" who carried a huge revolver (looked like about an 8" barrel) in a vertical shoulder holster. This guy was about 6' 8" tall and with that revo was an imposing figure...often not wearing a jacket over it.

And, yes, people to bug a councilman all the time, especially over that big stuff like potholes and garbage pickup...heh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,848 Posts
Guns are "why we have a greater level of violence than any other industrial country because we have more guns on the street.

Love how the sheep always blame an inanimate object for crime.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Good for the council!:congrats:
Wayne County is the poster board for why you should have a CCW, and having someone literally riding shotgun. There is no reason to enter "The D"
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
50,609 Posts
I would think that anyone coming NEAR Detroit should be CC'ing a firearm...all the BG's are.:yup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36,326 Posts
"My members have been telling me for years to get one, before I even ran for council," he said. "It's not an indictment upon the citizens of Detroit but just for my own personal assurances.
It is, though, a full and eloquent indictment of the criminals in the area (of any area): if you direct violence or crime against me, I'm going to defend against it, no matter the cost to you ... even if it kills you.

The CC members, there, are brighter than most. Most everywhere, folks seem to believe that the dream world exists in our waking lives, that crime won't happen to us or anyone we know. These folks seem to appreciate that the decision isn't completely up to their wishes and dreams, that thugs, rapists, robbers and murderers have some say in whether crime will occur. Kudos to them. They're at least thinking rationally and realistically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
657 Posts
Love how every major city in the country run by liberal Democrats goes into a death-spiral.
If only there were a party strong enough to run against them that wasn't a bunch of wimpy old men.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
"And the Rev. Andre Spivey, pastor of St. Paul AME, said he plans to get his CCW permit before Thanksgiving."

In Wayne County???
I hope he applied about 6 months ago:confused:
Of course he did. I mean, there's no way that they'd put him at the top of the list or anything due to his new position, right?
Ah, to be one of the priviledged few and not have to put up with the bureaucratic red tape those of us in the "lower class" have to endure. It must be nice. :hand1:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,765 Posts
Well at least the majority are intelligent about one issue....
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top