You probably didn’t see this on the CBS Evening News or CNN. Dante Barksale, a Baltimore anti-gun activist, met his maker after someone shot him in the head while he worked to keep guns from out of the hands of the law-abiding in “The Greatest City in America.” He was shot in the head in broad daylight.
Barksdale’s job, aside from discouraging decent people from owning the single-best tool for protecting themselves and their families from bad people with evil in their hearts, was…to “de-escalate” conflicts.
It seems that he learned that talk is cheap when it comes to confronting a bad guy with a gun in one of the nation’s most dangerous cities. The lesson: don’t bring harsh words to a gunfight.
Dante Barksdale, the well-known face of Baltimore’s violence-prevention program Safe Streets who helped lead the crime-fighting initiative for more than a decade, was shot to death Sunday, city officials confirmed.
Barksdale, fondly known as “Tater,” was shot in the head in the Douglass Homes housing project around 11:15 a.m. A few weeks earlier, one resident said, he had delivered winter coats to families at the complex.
If “Tater” had only brought more than stern words with him, he might still be alive today. Then again, he wasn’t legally able to own firearms. Barksdale was a convicted felon who had spent many years in prison.
Barksdale had a personal connection to the systems of crime and aggression that he sought to dismantle. He had served time in prison, and was the nephew of Nathan “Bodie” Barksdale, the notorious Baltimore man whose crimes and run-ins with police inspired characters and storylines in the hit HBO series “The Wire.”
WBAL TV profiled “Tater.”
Barksdale’s attempts to reduce the level of violence in his city were admirable. But the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun . . .