The United States has become so unsafe for tourists that other countries are now issuing warnings to their citizens who are planning to travel to the states.
Days after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, countries including Venezuela, Uruguay, and Japan told their people to postpone their trips and completely avoid certain cities.
In a press release, the Venezuelan government said,
“These growing acts of violence have found echo and sustenance in the speeches and actions impregnated with racial discrimination and hatred against migrant populations, pronounced and executed from the supremacist elite who hold power in Washington.”
They also told Venezuelans to stay away from cities such as Birmingham, Oakland, Memphis, Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Baltimore.
On Monday, the Uruguayan government issued a similar statement, in which they specifically told their citizens to avoid crowded areas.
“Given the impossibility of the authorities to prevent these situations, due among other factors, to the indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population…avoid places where large concentrations of people occur, such as theme parks, shopping centers, arts festivals, religious activities, food fairs, and cultural or sporting events… it is recommended not to take minors to these places.”
Both Uruguay and Venezuela have had travel warnings placed on them by the United States government, with Uruguay’s travel advisory increasing to a level two for violent crimes and armed robbery. Venezuela, a country that has a complicated relationship with the United States had a level four advisory, the highest travel warning that can be given to a country, placed on them back in April.
As for Japan, the government still deems the United States a safe place to visit but the Japanese Consulate in Detroit put out a warning to Japanese citizens, telling them to be on high alert. They added that the United States is “a gun society.”
These countries have every right to warn their citizens about coming to the U.S. In an updated Vox analysis, the United States has some of the world’s weakest gun laws among developed countries.
According to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a group that tracks lives lost in every country, the United States has the 28th highest rate of deaths from gun violence in the world.
Venezuela, Uruguay, and Japan are not alone in their precautions. Countries like China, Germany, Belgium, New Zealand, France, and Canada have all warned their countries that while the U.S. is relatively safe, our overuse of firearms is something to watch out for.
It’s bad enough that Americans don’t feel safe doing everyday activities. But the fact that other countries are warning their citizens about us is the icing on the cake.
This year alone, we’ve had 255 mass shooting. With four more months left in 2019, some kind of reform needs to happen to move us in the right direction. Otherwise, the only thing that will change is the location of the next attack.
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Photo by Tim Mudd
Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she’s not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.