Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.
Countries around the globe are warning their citizens of the dangers of traveling to the U.S. after 31 people were killed in two mass shootings last weekend.
While a number of countries have had warnings about the risks of mass shootings and gun violence in place for years, that number has increased in the wake of the attacks in El Paso and Dayton last weekend.
On Wednesday, human rights organization Amnesty International added its voice to the chorus of warnings, calling on “people worldwide to exercise caution and have an emergency contingency plan when traveling throughout the USA.”
“This Travel Advisory is being issued in light of ongoing high levels of gun violence in the country,” the organization said.
A number of the warnings issued this week came with political overtones, with some directly blaming U.S. President Donald Trump for inciting hatred through the used of racist and xenophobic language.
After last weekend’s massacres, a number of countries have issued strong warnings to their citizens about traveling to the United States.
- Venezuela: The administration in Caracas, which is no friend of the Trump administration, warned citizens to “take extreme precautions or postpone” travel to the U.S. referencing the El Paso and Dayton shootings. It also blamed racist and xenophobic language from the U.S. president for the proliferation of mass shootings. “These growing acts of violence have found echo and sustenance in the speeches and actions impregnated with racial discrimination and hatred against migrant populations pronounced and executed from the supremacist elite that hold political power in Washington.”
- Uruguay: The Uruguayan Foreign Ministry warned of “the indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population” and told travelers to avoid taking children to crowded places like theme parks and sporting events.
- Japan: The Japanese Consulate in Detroit released a statement Sunday calling the United States a “gun society” and urging Japanese nationals to stay alert after the Dayton shooting. "Japanese residents should be aware of the potential for gunfire incidents everywhere in the United States, a gun society, and continue to pay close attention to safety measures,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Before last weekend’s atrocities, a number of countries had already issued warnings about the proliferation of gun violence in the United States.
- Canada: The Canadian government has issued a warning to citizens that "incidents of mass shooting occur, but account for a small percentage of homicide deaths in the country.” It adds that “the likelihood of a tourist being a victim of such a [mass shooting] incident is low.”
- New Zealand: New Zealand, which recently experienced its own horrific mass shooting, has issued an online travel advisory warning that “there is a higher incidence of violent crime and firearm possession than in New Zealand” and “active shooter incidents occur from time to time in the United States.”
- Ireland: The Irish government warns people traveling to the U.S. that the country has “witnessed a number of mass shootings in recent years.”
- Germany: The authorities in Berlin warn citizens that obtaining a gun is “easy” in the U.S. “so that firearms use is more common and sporadically mass shootings occur." They also warning travelers that attacks could take place in tourist destinations and crowded public places.
- Belgium: While authorities in Brussels says the U.S. “presents no particular risk to the traveler" it does warn that "as the use of firearms is largely liberalized, crimes are often violent.”
- France: The French government simply warns its citizens that “in many states, possession of firearms is permitted and common. Visitors must, in all circumstances, keep calm and cool.”
- Bahamas: In 2016, as police killings of black men attracted press attention and a protest movement, Bahamian authorities issued the following warning: “We wish to advise all Bahamians traveling to the U.S. but especially to the affected cities to exercise appropriate caution generally. In particular young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police. Do not be confrontational and cooperate.”
- China: In June authorities in Beijing issued a travel advisory to citizens that "shootings, robberies and thefts have occurred frequently in the United States.” However, some analysts linked the warning to the ongoing trade war between Beijing and Washington.
Cover: Demonstrators chant as they protest the arrival of President Donald Trump outside Miami Valley Hospital after a mass shooting that occurred in the Oregon District early Sunday morning, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, in Dayton. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)