After El Paso and Dayton shootings, the international community warns about U.S. gun violence
Amnesty International, Venezuela, and Uruguay join the list of countries warning about the "ongoing high levels of gun violence" in the U.S.
On Aug. 3, 2019, the U.S and world were witnesses as 31 people died in two mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
A week later Amnesty International issued a global warning to travelers visiting the United States. “Exercise caution,” reads the alert prompting tourists to remain vigilant and avoid crowded places.
Today we issue a travel warning calling for travelers & visitors to the United States to exercise extreme caution & have a contingency plan when travelling throughout the country. This is due to ongoin rampant gun violence in the United States. pic.twitter.com/eVVeMnAOOP
— Amnesty International (@amnesty) August 7, 2019
According to Mother Jones and Harvard school of public health before 2011 the nation had a mass shooting every six months. Ever since it has been every two months. After Sandy Hook in 2012, there have been more than 2,000 mass shootings in the U.S.
The Gun Violence Archive reports that so far this year the country has seen 257 mass shootings.
It's no wonder then that countries have issued alerts for their citizens to be careful when visiting the U.S. due to gun violence — the most recent being two South American countries, Venezuela and Uruguay.
Venezuela alerts its citizens of “ the inexcusable indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population,” as well as racism.
“These growing acts of violence have found echo and support in the speeches and actions impregnated with racial discrimination and hatred against the migrant populations, pronounced and executed from the supreme elite that holds political power in Washington,” said the Venezuelan government.
Uruguay’s Foreign Ministry seems to agree with Venezuela, advising compatriots to “take precautions against growing indiscriminate violence, mostly for hate crimes, including racism and discrimination.”
However, Uruguay takes it one step further and calls on the authorities’ “inability to prevent these situations, due, among other factors, to the indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population.”
Before El Paso and Dayton, seven developed countries had already warned their citizens about America ́s mass shootings.
Some countries have a Travel Advisory system in place -like the U.S., from low to high regarding safety and security risk.
- Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions
- Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
- Level 3: Reconsider Travel
- Level 4 :Do Not Travel
Canada classifies the U.S as Level 1: exercise normal precautions.
“Incidents of mass shootings occur, but account for a small percentage of homicide deaths in the country. The likelihood of a tourist being a victim of such an incident is low,” reports the Canadian government.
New Zealand escalates the warning to Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution country, mainly because of the possibilities of a terrorist attack, but also because of shootings that occur “from time to time.”
Other countries don’t place a level but tell their civilians to proceed with caution.
Germany who lost a citizen at the El Paso shooting cautions nationals about how easy it is to gain possession of weapons in the U.S., and the “more common use of firearms and sporadically sudden mass assault.”
Japan seems to support that statement. Telling its residents to be aware of the potential for gunfire incidents everywhere in the United States, and calling the country “a gun society.”
On the other hand, Ireland addresses the situation no further than saying the US has “witnessed several mass shootings in recent years.”
“In general, particular caution must be taken, especially during the evening and night hours, in some areas considered to be unsafe, located within large urban centers,” says the Italian government.
While the UK agrees with Italy, it also highlights that “violent crimes, including gun crime, rarely involve tourists.”