Because this blog is about travel, not politics, I am prevented from discussing the issues of gun control raised by the recent shooting in Las Vegas. But I very definitely am entitled to discuss the impact of that event on foreign travel to the United States.
Even before the tragic use of an automatic rifle to kill and injure hundreds of spectators gathered for a music concert in Las Vegas, other lesser events (mainly relating to the unpopular policies of the current administration) have resulted in a dramatic drop in the number of overseas residents vacationing in the United States.
Impartial experts have estimated that the number of foreign tourists coming to our country has recently fallen by 700,000 arrivals. Such a decline will have cost many thousands of jobs in the hospitality industry and a loss to this country of billions of dollars of income.
You can imagine how greatly that number has now been affected by the Las Vegas tragedy. I would assume that our count of foreign tourists will now decline by as many as 1,500,000 visitors.
Why, in addition to Las Vegas, has this happened? It is because, beyond dispute, the United States experiences the highest number of mass killings by guns in all the world. Not a day goes by that we don’t read of gun assaults, gun battles, deliberate gun killings. What would have been a fist fight years ago is now a deadly gun battle in the states that encourage unrestricted gun ownership.
Would you believe that in some of our states, persons are permitted to bring guns into bars? In other states, persons are permitted to openly carry guns as they walk the streets. In a place like Phoenix, Arizona, the police are forbidden to detain a zealot brandishing an assault rifle outside the auditorium in which a recent president of the United States was giving a speech (this happened in the early years of the Obama administration).
Once again, I am unable to discuss the madness of our gun policies in a blog devoted to travel. I am forbidden to say that members of Congress who have refused to outlaw assault rifles have blood on their hands.
But I am able to point to the damage to our tourist industry done by constant gun violence. Many thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of income have been lost and will continue to be lost.
If arguments based on morality and common sense fail to persuade members of Congress to limit the number of guns in America, will they instead respond to the damage this violence has done to our economy?