Back in November, Esteban Santiago was growing increasingly paranoid and traveled to the Alaska FBI office to share that he thought that the government was controlling his mind. From his car, agents recovered a gun. Not long after, local police transported Santiago to a hospital for mental health treatment. About a month later, Santiago picked up his gun. Soon after, Santiago flew to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to unleash a massacre with the same gun. Now, five people are dead and many others are injured.
Why did Santiago get his gun back? Our laws did not give the FBI the ability to keep the gun. Santiago was not accused or convicted of a crime nor had a court declared him mentally deficient. Here in the United States, we care more about loose gun laws than we do about our citizens. It’s hard to believe that this young man walked to an FBI office desperately seeking help and they didn’t have the authority to keep his gun.
Why didn’t Santiago get the help he needed? Why wasn’t he protected? Why was there no follow up? The only thing that could have saved the lives of the folks in Ft. Lauderdale would have been some sort of action that fills the gap between law enforcement and the hospital. The FBI obviously didn’t make it happen. A lack of support for those struggling with mental illness has once again taken lives.
It should not be this easy to carry out a massacre.
It should not be this easy to get or keep a gun.
When someone is mentally ill they need help not their weapon back.
There are bodies on the floor of the terminal.
What will we do to stop the bleeding?