After news broke about a passenger’s pet that died on a United Airlines flight when a flight attendant put the dog’s crate in an overhead bin, the reactions were widespread and immediate. Online, many condemned the already beleaguered airline. Meanwhile, Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) went as far as introducing a bill to make sure this never happened again.
I will be filing a bill tomorrow that will prohibit airlines from putting animals in overhead bins. Violators will face significant fines. Pets are family.
— John Kennedy (@SenJohnKennedy) March 14, 2018
“I will be filing a bill tomorrow that will prohibit airlines from putting animals in overhead bins,” Kennedy pledged on Twitter Wednesday afternoon. “Violators will face significant fines. Pets are family.”
The announcement, which came on the same day as students and teachers staged nationwide protests in support of stricter gun control, drew immediate criticism. Commentators on Twitter were quick to point out the difference in Kennedy’s reactions after the dog’s death and the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida which resulted in the death of 17 people.
So pets are family, but what about the 17 children that were lost? And the hundreds and hundred of others that were killed or injured to gun violence? Didn’t they have families? Didn’t they have hopes and dreams and goals?
— Camden (@MissCamMichelle) March 15, 2018
“So pets are family, but what about the 17 children that were lost?” one user wrote in response. “And the hundreds and hundred of others that were killed or injured to gun violence? Didn’t they have families? Didn’t they have hopes and dreams and goals?”
How about sneaking in an assault weapons ban in that bill too?
— Miss G (@GCasale) March 14, 2018
“How about sneaking in an assault weapons ban in that bill too?” another user tweeted.
Kennedy who has accepted over $200,000 in donations from the NRA during the course of his career, had been outspoken about his stance on gun control. “I don’t think we need more gun control laws,” he said during an interview with CNN‘s John Berman two weeks ago. “I think we need more idiot control”
7,000 kids shot and….. Crickets
One dog dies and legislation is introduced in two days.
— Clark Oliver (@TK9582) March 15, 2018
Thank you so much. After that can you work out a sensible gun laws too? Please.
— Temera Halley (@TemeraHalley) March 15, 2018
More American children have died in gunfire in JUST TWO MONTHS OF THIS YEAR than all the animals that died on United Airlines in 2017. Take your bill and cram it, Senator!!
— DrKevGuitar (@DrKevGuitar) March 15, 2018
Others, expressed support for the bill as a small victory.
Thank you for loving and understanding how much our fur babies add to our lives. Truly agree dogs behave like most people should. I do have an issue w the owners… even if i was on the last plane out of town NO WAY would I allow my pet to be put in overhead bin.
— Robin (@Hankydoodils) March 15, 2018
“Thank you for loving and understanding how much our fur babies add to our lives,” one user wrote.
— Niki Budnick (@nikileighbuds) March 15, 2018
“Would LOVE for you to get this legislation through,” another tweeted. “Would also love some work on #guncontrol and #healthcare and #DACA. Keep it up!”
Pets are family. This is one thing we agree on @SenJohnKennedy and I appreciate your support. Kids are family too, so how about some common sense gun reforms as well?
— Sue G-Vaughn (@piguanaSue) March 15, 2018
Kennedy presented the bill, which is called Welfare of Our Furry Friends or WOOFF, alongside Senator Cortez Masto (D-NV) and would have the FAA implement restrictions against storing live animals in overhead bins and impose fines for violations. It also gained support from the Humane Society.
[Image via Don Emmert/Getty Images]