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Saturday 18 November 2017
Letters to the Editor

Warn citizens about dangers of US visit

THE EDITOR: Following yet another mass shooting in America it should now become necessary that Caribbean governments start issuing travel advisories warning their citizens of the dangers of travelling to the US.

Concerned about increased police shootings of innocent and far too often unarmed black men, the Bahamas Government last year issued an unprecedented travel advisory warning its citizens to exercise caution when visiting the US.

Further, while TT does not have a foolish, if not insanely dangerous, Second Amendment giving citizens an almost inalienable “right to bear arms,” simple occurrences of local crime catapults the US to promptly issue travel advisories warning its citizens about dangers, including nonviolent robberies and burglaries, in TT. The same applies for other countries.

Young Belgian mother Ann Decadt, visiting her American family, was killed while biking in a designated area in New York City.

Many foreigners also became victims of the Las Vegas massacre of 59 people last month. Another 50 were killed in Orlando last year.

On Sunday 26 others, aged 18 months to 77 years, were gunned down in the sanctuary of a church while worshipping their God, eliminating six per cent of Sutherland Spring’s population.

Last January, Esteban Santiago opened fire at the Ft Lauderdale Airport frequented by many Trinidadians, leaving five dead. And there are the regular workplace revenge killings.

More debilitating is the extended suffering of those injured in these senseless mass killings, left paralysed or forced to live the nightmare of survival adjustments including loss of limbs.

Weapons are the tools of violence and in a country that vaingloriously boasts about its innate affection for the guns so readily accessible, it’s no surprise that mass shootings in the US are now spreading like a crippling disease. And let’s be real, it will only get worse.

No other country would allow one citizen to purchase virtually unlimited high-profile rifles with which they carry out the mass killing of innocent people, wounding many more.

Were these deadly weapons used to kill animals these acts would lead to animal rights proponents demonstrating for drastic reversals of laws beyond those ascribed to humans.

Sadly, an innately violent America continues to live in denial with President Donald Trump reacting to the latest shooting saying such killings aren’t gun related, while taking comfort in ascribing mental illness to the shooters, oblivious to the fact that the mentally challenged can so easily purchase weapons.

Shockingly, if these killings were done by a foreigner on US soil they would instantly be classified as “terrorism.” No such mention is made when perpetuated by Americans.

Testimony to the ignorance and arrogance of those who access guns is America’s growing incarcerations, which account for 26 per cent of the world’s prison population while having only 4.9 per cent of the planet’s people.

Those of us with friends and family, and more so children attending college, in the US ought to be concerned, as should our Government, on which I call to seriously monitor these mass killings and issue the necessary advisories warning our citizens of the dangers amid the glitz and glitter.

TREVOR HOSTEN via e-mail

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