Pulse Orlando nightclub.
Source: Pulse Orlando nightclub.

Is the United States Safe to Visit After Its Worst Mass Murder in Its History?

T his story has it all: the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States; hatred against the sexual preferences of people who are not heterosexual; links to a reviled terror organization; possible racial hatred against Latinos; a dead suspect whose name sounds Muslim; and an impact on politics in the United States — all fewer than 24 hours after the incident occurred.

Yes, as the entire planet mourns the deaths of at least 50 people who were murdered in cold blood in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando — a popular place where gay people congregated to celebrate and have fun — the media is already having a veritable field day with this senseless tragedy.

In addition to those who were killed, a minimum of 53 people were injured last night — which was Latin night at the Pulse nightclub — by a coward named Omar Mateen, who was trying to prove some unknown point and reportedly was interviewed three times by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States for having alleged terrorist ties, according to this article compiled and written by Christal HayesGal Tziperman LotanElyssa CherneyNaseem S. MillerSteven Lemongello and Bethany Rodgers of the Orlando Sentinel.

Was this an act of terror? Was this a hate crime? Was it both? Neither?

Does it really matter?

Is the United States Safe to Visit After Its Worst Mass Murder in Its History?

Sure, the headline of this article reads like classic “click bait”, doesn’t it? But think about it: there was talk about whether traveling to places such as France or Belgium or Egypt was safe after massacres and bombings occurred and killed hundreds of people collectively in those places in recent months…

…and now, the United States is once again added to that list.

The answer to my question is yes: the United States, France, Belgium and even Egypt — which had been substantially suffering economically from a lack of tourism since its revolution back in 2011 and to which I gave six reasons why you should visit that country — are safe to visit. The chances of you being killed visiting one of those countries is remote at best — insignificantly more at best than visiting many other countries around the world…

…but tourism numbers are significantly lower overall in Europe anyway as a result of the terror attacks which occurred there, according to this article written by Jason Chow of MarketWatch. Despite the incidents occurring in Paris and Brussels, other parts of Europe have felt an economic impact — all because people are afraid to travel there.

A travel alert issued by the Department of State of the United States — issued only two weeks ago — warning American citizens pertaining to the potential danger of traveling to Europe — certainly is not helping matters any…

…so should a similar travel warning be issued by governments in Europe of the potential danger of traveling to the United States after what happened in Orlando? Should we all just stop traveling altogether and cower in a dark corner somewhere, hoping that the danger will just magically and miraculously go away?

Of course not.


In my opinion, there is a very fine line between crime and terror — almost to the point of being indiscernible. Both serve to either murder or frighten the populace affected by those acts of violence. Often, the perpetrators succeed in their goals.

That people have a certain sexual preference, believe in a certain religion, are of a certain race, have a certain political opinion or are of a certain gender should not matter. Everyone has a right to be heard — as long as that right is expressed in ways which are considered acceptable by society in general.

We must fight back and show these thugs that they do not scare us. We must continue to travel and do what we want to do. We must be vigilant and vocal, vehement in our resolve to become united and send a message that we will not be intimidated by crime or acts of terrorism.

In the meantime, a statement written by Barbara Poma — who is the owner of the Pulse Orlando nightclub — wrote and posted the following message at its official Internet web site: “Like everyone in the country, I am devastated about the horrific events that have taken place today. Pulse, and the men and women who work there, have been my family for nearly 15 years. From the beginning, Pulse has served as a place of love and acceptance for the LGBTQ community. I want to express my profound sadness and condolences to all who have lost loved ones. Please know that my grief and heart are with you.”

My thoughts and prayers are also with the family and friends of the victims of this horrible tragedy — as well as the survivors themselves…

…and if you want to assist the survivors, consider donating blood, as there is an urgent need for it, according to this article written by Julie Shapiro for Time. You can also donate money; attend a vigil; or provide counseling in order to help.

Source: Pulse Orlando nightclub.

  1. *Unrelated to the question in the article, but to perpetuate misinformation (even if, in this case, out of non-willful ignorance) is probably also not helpful. Wounded Knee, far and away the worst mass murder.

    1. It is important to note that you are referring to the massacre which occurred at Wounded Knee Creek on December 29, 1890, Nick, and NOT the incident at Wounded Knee in 1973.

      I did not know about that incident, which resulted in the deaths of as many as 300 Native American people.

      Although it was not even a year old yet, South Dakota was officially a state by then; so I am wondering why that massacre does not count to the media.

      Thank you for the information and correction, Nick. I learned something new; and it causes me to wonder if there are any other massacres in American history which have been overlooked…

      1. To make things worse, Medals of Honor were awarded by Congress to several of the soldiers involved in the Wounded Knee Massacre.

        Sadly Wounded Knee wasn’t even the worst massacre, either by the US on Indians, or vice versa, most are just not as well known.

        And there are many other massacres that occurred in the United States, too…the 1863 Lawrence (Kansas) Massacre of civilians including women and children claimed as many as 200 people…the 1921 Greenwood Massacre saw the entire black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa burned down by white racists, killing as many as 300 people (and thousands left homeless)…the list, unfortunately, goes on and on with little hope for the future it seems.

        Good article though, as factual risk management is better in making travel decisions than over-reacting by blacklisting a whole country due to one incident, as tragic as it is.

        1. Thank you, Ryan.

          For all readers of The Gate in general, please accept my apology for perpetuating verbiage which is false; plus, I should have used the words mass shooting rather than murder in the title — although I would not be the least bit surprised if that were not true either…

      2. My first thought when I heard it repeated that this was the worst massacre in U.S. history is the media obviously did not consider the 17th-19th century slaughter of American Indians.

        California’s Indian massacres of 1850s, along with disease introduced by miners, reduced the Indian population from 150,000 to 30,000 in 12 years from 1848-1860.

        The state paid for scalps. Entire villages were exterminated across the northern part of the state. One of the most reported i a Clear Lake massacre, but a deeper study of California history reveals many stories of massacre during the 19th century in northern California rural areas.

        That being history, I am often asked in my international travels about gun violence in the U.S. The only guns I have seen pointed at me were by cops and soldiers.

        1. That is a serious problem, Ric Garrido. Thank your for the information.

          Native Americans should have just as much rights as anyone else — no matter what point in history we are discussing — and I am actually appalled that those massacres are not being given credence by the media with regard to the entire history of the United States.

          Nevertheless, the deadly incident which occurred in Orlando is no less horrible…

  2. The US is neither the safest place to visit nor the most dangerous. In terms of the West, it probably has higher – far higher – incidences of gun violence than anywhere else but still relatively low in tourist areas, which is what we are talking about. Florida has always had a problem with tourists being robbed at gunpoint and it has undoubtedly lowered tourist numbers. NYC used to have a major problem until Bloomberg cleaned it up. It was ever thus – but the US is not somewhere you go for a relaxing holiday, so I don’t suppose it really makes any difference.

    1. I remember the deadly incidents which occurred at rest stops in Florida, NB — some of the victims were visiting from outside of the United States, causing the tourism industry in Florida to decrease by as much as 20 percent.

      As for New York City being cleaned up, I thought that Rudy Giuliani was the mayor who was chiefly responsible and not so much Michael Bloomberg…?

  3. Thank you for making the point that I make to friends who suggest I am crazy for booking trips to Turkey, Bahrain and the Philippines! Is it safe there I am continually asked when the real question should be ‘-am I safe anywhere?’

    I refuse to let ignorant, brainwashed people with a quest for power and infamy prevent me from doing what I love best.

    1. I have been to Bahrain and the Philippines — as well as Lebanon and Egypt, Anne.

      Here are four select trip reports in which you might be interested in reading:





      Welcome to BoardingArea, by the way. Readers, Anne is the writer of TravelTheGlobe4Less:


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