Amnesty International, in the wake of two deadly mass shootings this last weekend in Ohio and Texas, issued a travel advisory for people from all foreign countries going to the United States due to "ongoing high levels of gun violence in the country."

Montana generally has about 12 million tourists per year to the state, with a future potential of about 20 million. Included in this number are international tourists such as the French woman from Zimbabwe I talked with last year downtown, who had visited the United States 17 times. Glacier and Yellowstone are popular international destinations.

Within the United States, about 80% of travel dollars come from interstate travelers and 20% from international travelers. Using the 2016 figure of $3.5 billion dollars to Montana, international travelers may contribute about $700 million to Montana yearly. Currently nationwide, there are about 70 million foreign visitors each year.

What will be the impact, when we have a highly publicized Montana mass shooting? Can we afford to continue to have a "Wild West" in firearms in Montana and the nation? This is just another rational reason for gun control measures now.

Erwin Curry,


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