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In Detroit, Even the Politicians Carry Weapons

In today's Detroit Free Press, columnist Rochelle Riley reports that 7 of the 9 incoming city council members have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. It's no secret that crime is one of the biggest barriers to Detroit's turnaround aspirations. The city's police force is overwhelmed covering a vast, often sparsely populated territory. Some of the city's last relatively affluent neighborhoods are driving one of the few growth industries here: private security. Just a few weeks ago, a pastor shot a man who tried to rob his church.

None of this is front-page news. But it does illustrate how the crisis here is playing out. This quote from one of the new city council members, Saunteel Jenkins, is spot on:

"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.

"....This is no joking matter. ... We don't want this to be what we become."

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