To people from other countries, the United States must look like the most dangerous place on the planet.
Democracy Now reported that the Oct. 1 shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., was the 294th mass shooting in the U.S. so far this year. Mass Shooting Tracker considers four or more persons shot in one incident in that count for 2015.
That’s more than one mass shooting in the United States per day, and the year is far from over.
It’s also distressing that U.S. service personnel, who have done tours of duty during the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan, return to America to be killed or injured by violence in the communities that raised them. To outsiders, the U.S. epidemic of gun and other violence must be terrifying.
That certainly was underscored with the Thursday stabbing of Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone outside a bar in Sacramento, Calif. Stone, 23, grabbed the attention of people worldwide in August when he and two of his longtime friends from Sacramento, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler, while vacationing in Europe thwarted a terrorist attack aboard an Amsterdam-to-Paris high-speed train carrying 500 passengers.
For their action against the gunman with the Kalashnikov rifle, a pistol and a box cutter, the three men received the Legion of Honor from French President Francois Hollande and were greeted as heroes last month in the White House by President Barack Obama.
Taking down the terrorist in France proved easier than being involved in an alcohol-fueled brawl that Stone became embroiled in with several people. It was captured on film. Police said the homegrown, all-American suspects fled in a car.
Stone suffered multiple stab wounds and was in serious condition in a hospital, where he was being treated. He was the second of the three heroes to be affected by violence.
Last week, Skarlatos went back to his hometown of Roseburg, Ore., from rehearsals for the television program “Dancing With the Stars” after the mass shooting on the community college campus left nine people dead. Skarlatos attends Umpqua Community College.
These and other instances of violence in the United States have to cause a lot of people abroad to wonder whether they should visit this country. To do so looks as if people are putting their safety at risk.