Amnesty International’s travel warning about the U.S. is a mistake

Amnesty International’s travel warning about the U.S. is a mistake

Gun Rights

A man places a U.S. flag outside the Walmart store in El Paso that was the site of a mass shooting this month. (Callaghan O’hare/Reuters) After two mass shootings earlier this month, Amnesty International issued a “ travel advisory ” for the United States, a first of its kind, “calling for possible travelers and visitors to the United States to exercise extreme caution when traveling throughout the country due to rampant gun violence.” Amnesty labeled American gun violence a human rights crisis . Supporters of increased gun regulation took the warning as a welcome condemnation of the state of gun violence in the United States: “ Yep, America is that country now. Businesses that depend on tourism will certainly be affected. Welcome to the Wild Wild West. #GunControlNow. ” “ Who’s the s—hole country now? ” “ There’s a list I never thought we’d make. Shame on us. #GunControlNow #BanAssaultWeaponsNow #BackgroundChecksNow .” As a political scientist, human rights researcher and donating member of Amnesty International, it is my job to understand Amnesty’s incentives and its core competencies — and my passion to understand and improve the outcomes of human rights work. And contrary to what some people who favor tougher gun regulations may believe, travel advisories are not the sort of thing that Amnesty does. It has no systematic, empirical standard for declaring a travel advisory. It is not an expert in assessing travel risk. It has never issued a “travel advisory” like this for any other country. Even […]

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