“Senator, this would be more admirable if you had the same amount of outrage about the shooting deaths of American children.”
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) is being widely condemned for his quick reaction to the tragic death of a dog on an airplane while he and his fellow Republicans have done nothing about gun violence.
When a dog died while it was stowed in the overhead compartment of a United Airlines flight, Kennedy leapt to action.
He announced he would “be filing a bill tomorrow that will prohibit airlines from putting animals in overhead bins,” and added, “Pets are family.”
Then he sent a letter to the airline “demanding an immediate explanation” about animals that have died under their care, and touted a CNN appearance where he discussed the issue.
Kennedy’s flurry of tweets and public action occurred on the same day of the massive national walkout in schools across the country, where children protested gun violence and the resulting loss of life.
Kennedy did not send out a single tweet or statement on that topic, and his rush to action on dogs while ignoring dead children was pointed out by many.
Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action on Gun Violence noted, “Senator, this would be more admirable if you had the same amount of outrage about the shooting deaths of American children.”
With all due respect, Senator, this would be more admirable if you had the same amount of outrage about the shooting deaths of American children. https://t.co/GATNmqAiiX
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 15, 2018
Watts also wrote, “Thankfully there’s no overhead bin lobby. That’s why Congress can act so quickly.”
Kennedy has an “A” rating from the NRA and has been a recipient of thousands of dollars in political support from the extremist gun organization.
After the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High in Florida, he did as the organization wished and rejected calls for gun control. Instead he said, “We need more idiot control.”
People on Twitter took note of his advocacy for dogs as he ignored children.
Dennis Mersereau’s summary of Republican inaction struck a chord with thousands of people.
17 people die in a high school and a month later there's a nationwide protest to get the attention of lawmakers.
One dog dies on an airplane and there's a bill in the Senate rectifying it within 48 hours. https://t.co/YISKBPgtkS
— Dennis Mersereau (@wxdam) March 14, 2018
“You get more emotional over dogs than school shootings … says a lot about you,” said one.
Another person sarcastically asked, “I missed your outrage and letter to the NRA last month. Can you repost?”
Another: “Wow. That was fast! That takes care of pets. NOW WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS?”
One of his constituents in Louisiana wrote, “I would love to see you approach the issue of gun safety with the same urgency. Pretty sure my kids are family too & their lives should be protected.”
Kennedy’s Republican allies in the Senate, like Marco Rubio, have been more quick to introduce legislation on issues like repealing Daylight Savings Time than to act on guns.
Republicans from Trump all the way down have received millions from the NRA and are refusing to do anything to seriously reduce gun violence. They will react to popular issues like dog safety, but ignore a nationwide call to action on firearms, out of fear of the NRA.
That callous calculation is too cold-hearted for millions of people, and leaders like Sen. Kennedy are being called out for their inaction.