Gun violence: Amnesty International issues travel warning to US tourists  

United States Office of the Amnesty International, a global right movement on Friday issued a travel warning to intending tourists to the US, asking them to remain cautious due to the prevailing gun violence in the country.

The rights group said the warning became vital as the increasing gun violence amounts to human right crisis.

According to Ernest Coverson, Campaign Manager for the End Gun Violence Campaign at Amnesty International USA, the caution is to also replicate the United States Department of State’s travel advice for U.S. travelers to other nations.

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

Gun violence in the US is reported to cost the American economy at least $229 billion every year while eight children and teens are shot daily unintentionally by family fire.

The worrying statistics also revealed that 310 people are shot daily in the US.

Report by the Voice of America (VOA) also put the number of mass killings only in 2019 at 19 deaths.

In total, 31 people died at the recent gun incident which happened in El Paso, Texas and Dayton in Ohio, US.

However, the AI explained that the issued travel advisory is meant to address growing gun violence, mostly hate crimes, including racism and discrimination in the US.

It noted that the traveler’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 group noted that by prioritising gun ownership over basic human rights, it accused the U.S. government of willfully and systematically failing on multiple levels, thus ignoring its international obligations to protect people’s rights and safety.

    “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.

    “Amnesty International has been calling for common-sense reform regarding the use and possession of firearms, including 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 S.42., the Assault Weapons ban, and the Disarm Hate Act,” it stated.

    The global human rights organisation, last month published a report to examine how gun violence survivors in the US suffer years of trauma and pain “due to a destructive combination of government policies” which allegedly ignore peoples’ needs.

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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