The city of Baltimore has some very serious issues. Despite the state of Maryland’s embracing of gun control, Baltimore still has a high violent crime rate and has since well before COVID started making everyone lose their damn minds.
As a result, they’ve tried all sorts of programs to try and prevent violence.
One they claim to be among the most effective is called Safe Streets. What it does is mediate disputes in hopes that it will prevent violence. Now, I think we can all agree that preventing violence is a good thing.
Unfortunately, for one activist turned Safe Streets director, it didn’t do enough.
Dante Barksdale, an anti-gun violence activist who worked as the director of Baltimore’s Safe Streets program, is dead after being shot in the head.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Safe Streets outreach workers “mediate disputes in the hopes of de-escalating conflicts.”
“They also lead public education campaigns and work closely with faith-based organizers and community members — and explicitly not with police — to steer young people away from violence,” the paper reports “The program has been hailed as one of the city’s most effective crime-fighting tools.”
What are the details?
According to a Monday report from the New York Post, Barksdale was visiting a local public housing project when an as-yet unidentified gunman opened fire and struck him in the head.
Barksdale, who worked as the director for the city’s Safe Streets campaign for more than a decade, was rushed to nearby Johns Hopkins Hospital early Sunday morning, where officials pronounced him dead.
The Baltimore Sun also reported that Barksdale a few weeks earlier had delivered winter coats to families at the very same housing project where he lost his life.
A police spokesperson told the Post, “The investigation is ongoing and we have no further updates to provide at this time.”
Now, there’s a temptation right now to look at Barksdale’s history and try to mock it or whatever, but don’t. While Barksdale likely supported very different policies when it comes to the Second Amendment than most of us do, the truth is that this is someone who was trying to make his community better by doing more than just complaining about the problem.
More than that, he was actively working to prevent the kind of violence that is used to justify new gun control laws. In other words, while he may have disagreed with us, he was ultimately doing something that would have helped gun rights activists in the long term.
However, this also shows just how bad the problems in Baltimore truly are. This is a guy who was apparently working very hard to help the poor members of the community, and he got shot and killed for his trouble. Who does that?
Of course, we don’t know precisely what happened. Did someone think Barksdale saw something and they needed to silence him? Was it an accident? Was it someone who simply lost their mind? We legitimately don’t know.
Frankly, it doesn’t matter.
What we do know, though, is that all of Maryland’s many gun control laws did precisely jack to prevent Barksdale’s murder. That’s the least surprising part of this, really.