Sen. Mark Kirk called Friday for stronger sanctions on Russia, saying he felt "horror" when he heard about the "totally unnecessary shoot-down" of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine.
Kirk told Ward Room that "immediate, effective, painful financial sanctions" are needed against those politically close to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as special federal air regulations from the FAA prohibiting civil aircraft over Ukraine.
President Barack Obama said Friday the missile that downed the commercial jet with 298 people on board was fired from a separatist-held location in Ukraine, but it was too early to determine exactly who ordered the strike and why.
Kirk said the crash shows Putin issued advanced, front-line air defense missiles, and his allies should be punished.
"We should now mandate a study of an active defense system on major civil aircraft," Kirk said, "which I would say is any airliner with two aisles on it."
He also wants to look into active defense measures to make sure international travelers are less vulnerable to surface-to-air missiles.
As for Obama's response to the crash, Kirk said, "I wish I had seen a more empathetic and more specific response from the president today."