Amnesty International Issues A Travel Advisory For The U.S.

Amnesty International has issued a travel advisory for the U.S., following the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. The two shootings which occurred on the same weekend claimed 31 lives. Uruguay, Venezuela and Japan are some of the countries that have also issued travel advisories for the U.S.

In its advisory, Amnesty warns people around the world to exercise caution and have an emergency contingency plan ”in their travel across the U.S.” The rights group goes further to warn that a person’s country of origin, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation or gender identity may make it riskier for them to travel. It urges people to be safe as the country has failed to adequately protect the right of people to be safe.

The gunman of the El Paso shooting confessed that he was targeting Mexicans. A 24-year old woman who had known the Dayton gunman remarked that he was hateful towards women because they refused to date him.

The U.S. has seen at least 17 mass shootings in 2019 alone. That is an average of one shooting every 12.7 days of the year. The most recent ones in El Paso and Dayton were only 13 hours apart.

There is no agreed definition of what constitutes a mass shooting. Different organisations and rights’ groups keep their lists, often differing in the criteria of what the elements of a mass shooting are. Although the FBI does not have an official definition, it describes a mass shooting to be an incident where two or more people are killed excluding the suspect.

To remedy this growing menace, experts advocate for gun control. Proponents of gun control advocate for better background checks in the ownership of guns, arguing that a comprehensive and well-designed background check can significantly reduce the occurrence of a mass shooting.

However, gun control has been such a big issue of debate in the U.S. that an agreeable solution is yet to be found. The second amendment of the U.S. constitution protects the individual right to bear arms. Being a constitutional right, opposition to gun control laws stems from its attempt to infringe on constitutional rights. The tragic result of the tensions is that more innocent lives are lost at the hand of mass killings.

In response to the travel advisories issued, President Donald Trump threatened to ”reciprocate” to the individual countries.

Leah Gitahi