According to Secretary of State John Kerry, some foreign students don’t want to study in the United States because they’re afraid of campus shootings.
“We had an interesting discussion about why fewer students are coming to, particularly from Japan, to study in the United States, and one of the responses I got from our officials from conversations with parents here is that they’re actually scared,” Kerry, who said he discussed the issue with foreign officials, told CNN while in Tokyo.
In recent years, the rate of Japan students studying abroad has declined, CNN reported. The reports of gun crime in the U.S. reach Japan and Kerry said, “They think they’re not safe in the United States and so they don’t come.”
Secretary Kerry also praised Japan’s gun laws, which pretty much prohibit private ownership of weapons, saying that the country is safer because “people are not running around with guns.”
We can argue about whether or not Japan’s gun policies truly make them safer – I’d argue that Japan, guns or not, is just a less violent society than ours – but students not wanting to come to America to study is a problem of perception, not reality.
Gun violence in America is very much on the decline. It has been for decades, including a 50% drop in the last 20 years specifically, and mass shootings (the sort of violence these students are no-doubt most afraid of) peaked back in the 1920’s during the Prohibition-era gang wars.
Statistically speaking, foreign students studying in America would be safer from gun violence now than at any time in the last several decades.
That’s not the perception we get from the agenda-driven media, though, which has sensationalized acts of violence to help “lead the conversation” for gun control.
But one area all students, foreign or not, should be concerned about is the rate at which supposed “gun free zones” are targeted in the shootings that do happen. Again and again, shooters looking to put up a big body count pick schools and campuses where guns are prohibited, allowing the maximum amount of shooting time before people start shooting back.
If we want to make our schools safer, we should end gun free zones.