Governments Are Warning Their Travelers About Mass Shooting Risk In The U.S.

by Christina Marfice
Originally Published: 
Gary Hershorn/Getty

Americans aren’t the only ones who are scared of being part of the next mass shooting in the U.S.

In the wake of two more mass shooting events in the U.S., bringing this year’s total up to 251 shootings so far, foreign countries are cautioning their citizens to think twice about the safety of visiting the U.S. as tourists.

Uruguay is the latest country to do so, issuing a travel advisory notice that warns people of “growing indiscriminate violence” in the U.S., linked to “hate crimes, including racism and discrimination.”

“Given the inability of the authorities to prevent these situations, due to among other factors the indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population, it is especially advisable to avoid places where large concentrations of people occur, such as theme parks, shopping centers, artistic festivals, religious activities, gastronomic fairs and any kind of cultural or sporting events. In particular, it is recommended not to go with minors to these places,” a statement from Uruguay’s government reads.

The U.S. currently has the 28th highest rate of gun-related deaths in the world. The number of people who die in the U.S. from gun violence each year is 25 times higher than in any other high-income country.

While Uruguay is the latest country to warn its citizens against visiting the U.S., it’s not alone. Venezuela has also warned its citizens to be wary of travel here, due to “the inexcusable indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population,” noting that it’s “especially advisable to avoid places where large crowds occur. In particular, it is recommended not to attend these places with minors.”

Japan warns its people that, “Japanese residents should be aware of the potential for gunfire incidents everywhere in the United States, a gun society, and continue to pay close attention to safety measures.”

China’s ministry of tourism notes that, “shootings, robberies and thefts have occurred frequently in the United States. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism reminds Chinese tourists to fully assess the risk of travel to the United States, keep abreast of information on public security, laws and regulations, and improve their awareness of safety and security.”

Germany, which saw one of its own citizens die in the El Paso shooting, warns that, “it is easy to gain possession of weapons, so that it is more common for firearms use and sporadically mass shootings occur.”

Canada, Belgium, and New Zealand also include travel advisories about the U.S. that note that crime is overall lower in the U.S. compared to many other countries, but note that widespread gun ownership presents a unique danger not found in other first-world countries.

These travel advisories come at a time when Americans themselves are expressing how scared they are to know without doubt that another mass shooting will occur, but not know when or where — or if this will be the time they’ll be involved. It sounds like our fears are shared by others from all over the world. Yet will this be enough to spur lawmakers into making the changes we need to be safe from terrorism on our own soil? History tells us probably not.

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