Traveling Off the Path?
When you think of the safety of tourists, the United States of America may not be your first choice.
It has always been considered a safe place to visit, just like the rest of Western Europe. However, countries such as Mexico and Latin America have been scrutinized for years because of isolated incidents, which rarely involve tourists.
A new travel advisor update from Canada, America’s nearest neighbor and sister nation, appears to bring this unchallenged position into question as urban safety in the United States becomes more compromised.
The text of this advisory is available on an official government website. It warns about petty thefts, violent crimes, and gun crimes among other threats against personal safety.
Pickpocketing, purse snatching, and other small crimes are common, especially in tourist areas and urban centers…
In large cities, violent crimes are more common in poorer neighborhoods, especially between dusk and dawn. Intoxication is often involved. Violence crimes are usually committed by gangs and members of organized crime organizations, but they can also be committed by individuals.
In the US, firearm ownership is very high. In many states, it’s legal for US citizens to carry firearms openly in public.
Mass shootings are not uncommon and usually result in fatalities. Tourists are not usually involved in mass shootings, but there is always the risk of being at the wrong place and time.
This is a topic that I have mixed feelings about. As a rule, I find travel advisories to be overblown and stupid. I’ve been to many places in the world where U.S. State Department issued histrionic warnings, but nothing has ever happened.
Everywhere, crime occurs. It is possible to avoid problems by being diligent and using universal prevention strategies.
The places where I felt the safest, except for San Jose, the horrendous capital of Costa Rica, whose residents all look as if they were just released from prison, are all large urban centers of the United States.
It’s not a call to gun control. I think the 2nd Amendment has a lot of value as a means of defense against government tyranny. (Not hunting, or what the left says.) But it’s unquestionably true that the United States is currently a toxic mix of rampant gun ownership, untreated mental illnesses, over-prescriptions of psychotropic medications, economic decline, and political instability.