Amnesty International issues travel warning to Brit tourists to ‘take extreme caution’ in America after twin gun massacres

Amnesty International issues travel warning to Brit tourists to ‘take extreme caution’ in America after twin gun massacres


BRITISH tourists visiting the USA are being warned to “exercise extreme caution because of “rampant gun violence”, Amnesty International warns. 

The human rights group said the mass shootings plaguing the country amounts to a human rights crisis. 

Emergency responders and law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a shooting in the Oregon District of Dayton, Ohio,
Emergency responders and law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a shooting in the Oregon District of Dayton, Ohio,
EPA
People attend a candlelight vigil at a makeshift memorial honouring victims of a mass shooting
People attend a candlelight vigil at a makeshift memorial honouring victims of a mass shooting
Getty Images – Getty

It comes after 22 people were killed in an apparently racially motivated mass shooting in a Walmart supermarket in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday. 

Hours later nine people were slaughtered in another attack in a bar in Dayton, Ohio.

Less than a week before, three people were shot dead in the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting.

There were more than 255 mass shootings in the US in the past year alone. 

‘UNWILLINGNESS TO PROTECT AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE’

Ernest Coverson, campaign manager for the End Gun Violence Campaign at Amnesty International USA, said: “Travellers to the United States should remain cautious that the country does not adequately protect people’s right to be safe, regardless of who they might be.

“People in the United States cannot reasonably expect to be free from harm – a guarantee of not being shot is impossible.”

“Once again, it is chillingly clear that the US government is unwilling to ensure protection against gun violence.”

The travel advisory addressed growing gun violence, mostly hate crimes, including racism and discrimination.

It highlights that a traveller’s race, country of origin, ethnic background, sexual orientation or gender identity may place them at higher risk after recent attacks linked to white supremacist ideology. 

The action called attention to the extent to which all aspects of life in the United States have been compromised in some way by unfettered access to guns, without comprehensive and uniform regulation of their acquisition and use. 

By prioritising gun ownership over basic human rights, the US government is wilfully and systematically failing on multiple levels and ignoring its international obligations to protect people’s rights and safety.

Amnesty International has been calling for common sense reform regarding the use and possession of firearms.

This includes comprehensive background checks, national regulations for registering and licensing firearms, required training, a ban on high capacity magazines/assault weapons, and mandatory safe-storage laws. 

Amnesty International USA’s campaign to end gun violence has focused efforts on passing Section 42, the Assault Weapons ban, and the Disarm Hate Act.


 

The latest mass shootings in the United States have triggered three countries to warn their citizens about the risks of travelling there.

It’s a sharp reversal from when America took a leading role in calling out the world’s most dangerous places. 

Venezuela, Uruguay and Japan issued warnings following the deaths of 31 people over the weekend in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

At least one of the warnings was laced with a dose of political payback.

Without directly naming President Donald Trump, the government of Venezuelan President Nicol’s Maduro blamed the surge in violence on speeches from Washington that featured racial discrimination and “hatred against immigrants”.

Maduro is presiding over the worst economic crisis in Venezuelan history amid a political battle with the White House.

EPA

Gunman Connor Betts, 24, was filmed chasing the terrified revellers into a bar while spraying bullets from a modified automatic weapon[/caption]

EPA

Connor Betts, 24, was named as the Dayton gunman. He killed nine people including his own sister and her boyfriend[/caption]

White supremacist Patrick Crusius posted a racist manifesto online before slaughtering people in cold blood in El Paso
Rex Features

What are gun laws in the US?

The vast majority of US citizens are allowed to buy and keep firearms without restriction. Non-citizens are allowed if they have a permit.

Campaign groups jealously guard the rights granted under the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, which states: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Federal law sets the minimum standards for firearm regulation in the United States. Licensed gun sellers must carry out background checks on every buyer against an FBI database.

Convicted felons, illegal immigrants and those with serious mental health problems are not meant to be allowed to purchase firearms.

Individual states also have their own laws, such as on what kinds of weapon are allowed to be owned or carried in public.

The USA has less than five per cent of the world’s population, but up to half of the world’s civilian-owned guns.

It also has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate among the world’s most developed nations.

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