Culture

What travel warnings do other nations give their citizens about US violence?


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By Forrest Brown | CNN

American travelers — at least those of the cautious variety — might be familiar with the US State Department’s travel advisories.

The agency monitors the world for potential trouble and issues warnings from “Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions” to “Level 4: Do Not Travel,” alerting would-be visitors to terrorism threats, war, arbitrary enforcement of local laws, high crime rates and other personal security issues.

But have you ever wondered how other countries’ governments caution their citizens about coming to the United States? What kind of reputation does America have?

After all, the rate of gun-related deaths in the United States has been going up in recent years.

Mass shootings have become downright commonplace: 690 in 2021; 647 in 2022; and 40 as of 6:30 p.m. ET January 24, 2023, according to Gun Violence Archive.

The worst of the mass shootings, such as the recent ones in Half Moon Bay, Oakland and Monterey Park, California, make headlines not just in the United States but worldwide. And while mass shootings generate the most attention, they account for a small fraction of the overall gun-related deaths in the United States.

CNN Travel checked out what the governments of the United States’ neighbors and closest allies tell their citizens about coming here. It’s not exactly a flattering picture.

Would-be visitors aren’t being warned off entirely as if America is an active war zone. Each nation has its own approach, but a general theme boils down to this: The United States is more violent than what you’re used to. Learn to take precautions that you might not have to take at home.

The other takeaway: Violent crime rarely involves tourists.

Here’s more on what nine countries — which account for a good chunk of the US international tourism traffic — have to say:

Australia

In 1996, 35 people were killed in a mass shooting in Port Arthur on the island of Tasmania. In the wake of the massacre, Australia passed stricter gun control laws that included “a near ban on all fully automatic or semiautomatic firearms,” according to Britannica online encyclopedia.

So for more than 25 years, Australians have lived in quite a different gun culture than that of Americans.

The Australian government warns its citizens who plan to visit the United States that violent crime is more common than in Australia and gun crime is possible in all areas. It instructs Australians to follow local guidance and instructions. They’re encouraged to learn active shooter drills if they live in the United States.

On its SmartTraveller website, the Australian government also reminds would-be travelers that “although tourists are rarely targeted, there is always a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” It does not provide notice of specific incidents “unless there’s a significant risk to Australians.”

Still, it’s not warning its citizens off US travel. As of January 24, it advised to “exercise normal safety precautions …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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