Gun violence and mass shooting incidents in America has become so common that it has now entered into the travel advisories of various countries.
Al least six countries have issued travel advisories to their citizens when traveling to the US in view to the current situation of the country’s increasing crime rate.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 200 mass shootings across the US so far this year. The numbers of reported incidents include shootings that happened in homes and in public places.
The archive defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are injured or killed.
Just in the last week, two incidents of mass shooting took place in Texas, in which five people were killed at a home in Cleveland, north of Houston, and eight died at a shopping mall in Allen, near Dallas, according to reports.
In each of the last three years, there have been more than 600 mass shootings, almost two a day on average, reported BBC.
So, in view of the current situation, some countries have issued advisories to alert their citizens about the potential risks when traveling to United States.
Let’s look at the advisories
The New Zealand government’s travel advisories for the US advises its citizen to “exercise increased caution”, which is at level 2 of its 4 level advisory. It attributes the rating to the threat of terrorism from both international terror groups and domestic-based extremists.
Though the country considers the US to be among the safest countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France advises travelers to take caution in certain urban areas and warns about increasing incidents of carjacking nationwide. The ministry provides a list of neighborhoods in major US cities, which have potential threats, such as Boston, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
In Boston, it advises citizen to avoid certain parts of Dorchester, Mattpan, and Roxbury when traveling alone, on foot, and at night. Similarly, in Los Angeles, the advisory suggests to completely avoid certain areas, including east, south, and southeast neighborhoods like Watts, Inglewood, and Florence.
The Canadian government informs its citizen travelling to US about the high rate of firearm possession and in many US states it is legal for citizens to openly carry firearms in public.
The government’s advisory ask tourists to familiarize themselves with how to respond to an active shooter situation, warning them about the risk of criminal incidents at the US-Mexico border.
Similar to New Zealand, Australia’s travel advisory ranges from 1 to 4 levels and US classified under the lowest level of exercising normal safety precautions. However, the country warns its citizens that violent and gun-related crimes are more common in the US than in Australia. It said the US has “persistent and heightened threat of terrorist attacks and mass casualty violence,” and advises to remain vigilant when in public places or attending events.
The UK government’s website says that violent crime, including gun crime, is not a common occurrence involving tourists in US but it acknowledges that incidents of mass shootings can happen, although they account for a small percentage of homicide deaths. The government advised individuals to read the US Department of Homeland Security’s guidance on how to respond to an active shooter event.
Venezuela and Uruguay
The two South American countries issued travel advisory in 2019 warning about the US. Venezuela recommended its citizens to postpone travel plans or take extreme precautions due to the “proliferation of acts of violence and indiscriminate hate crimes.”
Similarly, Uruguay’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised travelers to take extreme precautions in the face of growing indiscriminate violence, particularly hate crimes, due to the widespread possession of firearms by the US population. The advisory suggested avoiding crowded places, such as theme parks, shopping centers, festivals, artistic events, religious activities, gastronomic fairs, and any type of mass cultural or sporting events.