If the Parkland shooting has taken up the forefront of your mind, perhaps you haven’t heard of the recent debacle involving United airlines. Kokito, a French bulldog, was forced into the overhead hanger on an airplane and died due to asphyxiation. In fact, the owners of the deceased dog have obtained a Texas district attorney to pursue the matter as a possible criminal offense. Unsurprisingly, United airlines has been under attack from this incident in many ways other than the public outrage expressed in social media. Senators John Kennedy from Louisiana and Catherine Cortez Masto from Nevada recently introduced WOOFF (Welfare of Our Furry Friends Act), a bipartisan act that demands the Federal Aviation Administration to prevent airlines from placing animals in overhead compartments and impose civil fines on those who go against this bill.
While the safety of animals is an issue that connects and impacts all pet-owners and animal lovers, the safety of humans is something that should be identified right now. We shouldn’t need to be reminded that we lost 17 lives, but we do. We shouldn’t need to be reminded by the teenage survivors of this horrific shooting that we need gun reform, but we do. Less than a week after the United airlines confirmed the incident happened, legislation for animal protection was introduced. Only after much debate and insistence did Florida pass new gun regulation that bans bump stocks, increases the minimum age to buy a gun, and establishes a waiting period for those who buy a gun. It also seizes guns and ammunition from individuals who are risky to the safe of others and themselves.
But that is just some change in Florida, and gun regulation shouldn’t stop with these new acts. Legislators are still proposing to arm teachers, ban assault type rifles, limit high capacity magazines, and strengthen federal background checks. Gun reform is an issue that should be a priority for lawmakers; having animal lives be protected more efficiently than students’ lives should be concerning. It took less than a week after Kokito’s death for politicians to write a bill and move for it to be passed in congress. Saving students’ lives with gun reform took longer than a week and it hasn’t even been federally implemented. Does man’s best friend really trump man’s children?