Who We Are

Think Don’t Shoot is a youth assistance organization inspired by the events that changed the founder, Leo Barbe’s life. Through hope, survival and learning, Think Don’t Shoot was created.

TDS is now focused on teaching 3 key ways for youth who’ve been a part of, or witnessed traumatic events.

  • 1.)   Connecting youth with their Emotional Intelligence while instilling the fundamentals of coping with post-traumatic stress (PTSD).
  • 2.)   Focusing on both sides of the gun
    • Empowering victims of violence
    • Educating violent youth on the ripple effects of their violence
  • 3.)   Inspiring positive change on 3 specific systems in our society;
    • Home
    • School
    • Community

Think Don't Shoot is dedicated to providing youth with new and exciting ways to positively change their futures. By understanding the 3 pillars of TDS, youth are able to understand what it takes to be strong and independent community leaders.

As the Think Don’t Shoot movement grows, so will the TDS website. Make sure to come back often to stay up-to-date on any new changes.

Leo's Story

Think Don’t Shoot’s founder Leo Barbe is a real life survivor of youth violence.

At 21 Leo had the world wrapped around his finger. After recently graduating from college he quickly entered into corporate sales and thrived in the high paced environment. On a vacation to Montreal with a few close friends, he found himself in a dark alley way with a youth holding a gun. After a brief scuffle Leo tripped over a small fence and was shot in the stomach as he dropped to the ground. The shooter stood over Leo’s lifeless body and tried to end his life by aiming for his head. Fortunately the shooter missed and hit Leo in the back close to his neck. Leo sat bleeding to death for almost an hour until he was found by a mail man on his morning route. He then had to endure 4 major surgeries over 4 months, one being without anesthetics. Over the 4 months Leo spent most of the time fighting for his life. After the physical recovery was over Leo entered back into corporate sales and tried to live in a world he no longer understood.

After 2 months Leo had developed severe symptoms of PTSD that were affecting his personal and professional relationships. In April 2008 Leo tried to take his own life for the second time, which placed him into a mental hospital for over a month. Leo walked out of the hospital and tried to put back the pieces of his life. For the following year Leo battled with PTSD until April 2009 when he heard the words from Martin Luther King Jr’s last speech. It seemed something clicked within Leo. One man, one voice, one movement, could change the world. The next day TDS was born. Within a month Leo had built an organization, the presentations, TDS merchandise and a strong following. Within two months Leo signed with a National Publishing House without even having a book written. "Slaying the Dragon" is a book based on Leo's story of hope and survival.

With the completion of the book, Leo is now ready to push the fundamentals of Think Don’t Shoot and his movement of positive change to the forefront of public awareness. Join the movement today to inspire hope into the lives of those who have lost their way.


You can also find Leo and TDS at: