Greasing up the slippery slope

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Bear with me here, as I’m going to stitch together what may be some seemingly unrelated events.

The first of these is the unfathomable tragedy perpetuated by United Airlines on Kokito the French bulldog, owned by Catelina Robledo of Queens, N.Y.

Seems that before the flight, the owner was told that the satchel containing the dog was to be stowed in the overhead bin for the flight. Even though Mrs. Robledo complied — after trying to persuade the flight attendant about the animal — it was placed in the bin.

Consequently, at the end of the flight, the dog was removed, and they found it had died.

However sad this was, it was unavoidable, on many levels.

First, the stewardess could have had a little compassion; even though the container was partially blocking a walkway, she easily could have allowed the family to carry it on their laps.

Second, the family really should have chosen to either board the dog or leave it in the care of friends, which to me would have been the option I chose.

For whatever reason, they family took the animal with them, and then the tragic chain of events played out.

What happens next is quintessential politics: Sen. John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, is going to file a bill prohibiting airlines from putting animals in overhead bins, and proposing stiff fines for violators.

Then we have the schoolchildren who participated in the National School Walkout to protest school shootings and to demand that guns be banned.

As part of the protests, guns, the National Rifle Association and President Donald Trump were blamed for the recent (and not-so-recent) school shootings.

While it was interesting to see that these children and teenagers became involved in a discussion and began exercising rights of free speech and assembly, it was misplaced, and some of the demands were a bit scary, such requiring restraining orders and, for unexplained reasons, putting a ban on the militarization of police forces.

While these things surely are part of a discussion, especially with grieving and angry people, what’s notable here is that these students are requiring action by the government.

Here’s where we tie these two events together: the erosion of freedom and liberty, under the guise of “doing something” for safety and security, and giving away our rights.

I’m not for gun violence, but I’m also not for blaming inanimate objects and requiring my country to take away my items because we seemingly can’t be trusted. I’m also not in favor of a government telling me how to take care of my pets, when simple common sense would have solved the problem. We don’t need law after law after law slapped on us to tell us how to behave, and I find it saddening that the younger generation is looking for our government to do just that — staging a protest of them having too many rights.

None of these issues would have grown to the point of requiring legislation if there was some thinking done at the beginning, as well as putting the blame where it belongs. Just as it isn’t a gun that kills, it’s ultimately not the airlines responsibility to care for your pet, and no amount of laws will stop people from perpetrating crimes or start them caring for your problems.

•This week’s Headline of Note comes from Fox News, and down under: Cow washed up on beach shocks locals, pictures go viral.

Apparently there was a dead animal. On a beach. And it’s international news. With photos and videos and commentary and such.

Yes, it’s not ordinary. Yes, it’s weird. No, it’s not something most people care about. You want credibility? Cover real stories.

Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.

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