Amnesty International has issued a travel advisory for people going to the United States due to “ongoing high levels of gun violence in the country”. The Amnesty International travel advisory for the country of the United States of America calls on people worldwide to exercise caution and have an emergency contingency plan when travelling throughout the USA,” their alert declared on Wednesday.
Those travelling to the US would need to be “extra vigilant at all times and be wary of the ubiquity of firearms among the population,” to “avoid places where large number of people gather, especially cultural events, places of worship, schools, and shopping malls” and to “exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos”.
The international rights group warned that travellers could be at a higher risk of being targeted with gun violence in the country depending on their gender identity, race, country of origin, ethnic background or s-e-xual orientation.
“Under international human rights law, the United States has an obligation to enact a range of measures at the federal, state, and local levels to regulate access to firearms and to protect the rights of people to live and move freely without the threat of gun violence,” they added in the advisory. “The government has not take sufficient steps to meet this obligation.”
US President Donald Trump has called for “great” reforms to gun laws following recent horrific back-to-back shootings, but while narrow congressional measures may be taken, comprehensive change is unlikely in a divided Washington.
Trump consoled victims of mass shootings in Ohio and Texas on Wednesday, but despite promising a message of unity, he continued to rail at opponents while facing protests that his rhetoric on race has fuelled extremism.
Trump flew to El Paso, Texas, where a self-declared white supremacist murdered 22 people last weekend at a Walmart heavily frequented by customers of Hispanic origin.
He spent about an hour and a half at a hospital with staff and victims before he and his wife Melania were driven to the city’s emergency operations center to meet with police officers.
Protesters gathered in the streets, watched by armed police. “Go home. You are NOT welcome here!” and “Trump hatred, racism not welcome here” read two of the signs.
Similar scenes unfolded at an earlier stop in Dayton, Ohio, the site of another mass shooting over the weekend, in which nine people died. Pro-Trump protesters also took to the streets in both cities, illustrating the sense of division in the country ahead of next year’s election.
Journalists were mostly kept away from the Republican president, but in brief comments near the end of the two-city trip, Trump said he’d had an “amazing day. Then after praising the “heroes” who confronted the killers, Trump used his one appearance before the cameras to reignite his feud with opponents who accuse him of racism and who had argued against him visiting either Ohio or Texas.
“They shouldn’t be politicking today,” he said, calling Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, who questioned the use of Trump’s visit to Dayton, “very dishonest.”
Apparently stung by the less-than-enthusiastic reception given to him by some leaders in both cities, Trump also made a point of insisting that he’d been treated warmly.
“The love, the respect for the office of the presidency, it was — I wish you could there to see it,” he told journalists.
Trump returned to that theme in a tweet announcing his departure from El Paso, saying: “The Fake News worked overtime trying to disparage me and the two trips, but it just didn’t work. The love, respect & enthusiasm were there for all to see.”
Earlier, Trump’s social media director Dan Scavino tweeted that the president had been treated like a “Rock Star” in the Dayton hospital.
The White House, which had kept away news photographers, saying that it didn’t want to treat the visit as a photo-op, subsequently published its own pictures showing Trump alongside medical staff, police and victims.
A famed border city, El Paso is at the centre of Trump’s high-profile political campaign against illegal immigration and his keystone project of building walls along the Mexican frontier. The killer deliberately sought out the city, claiming to be stopping an “invasion” of illegal migrants — a term popularised by Trump repeatedly in campaign speeches.
As recently as May, the president laughed and made a quip when a supporter at one of his rallies yelled that they should “shoot” illegal immigrants.
Leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gave a speech on Wednesday accusing Trump of fanning “the flames of white supremacy.And Trump, who’d begun the day at the White House by insisting that his rhetoric “brings people together,” went on Twitter from Air Force One to respond. Watching Sleepy Joe Biden making a speech. Sooo Boring!” Trump wrote, while flying between Dayton and El Paso.
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Source: The Citizen