SURREY (NEWS 1130) – Last weekend’s mass shooting in Texas that left more than two dozen people dead has once again sparked debate about gun control in the US.
And the topic may also be keeping some Canadians from travelling stateside, specifically to Washington state.
Bellingham Police Chief Cliff Cook says you should feel safe driving down the I-5. “This is a safe area.”
He adds he has some heard some Canadians are reluctant to visit because of shootings elsewhere in the US. “When you look at incidents in our area, we’ve had very few, if any and that’s what’s troubling to me.”
However, he adds it’s not just Canadians who are afraid to travel. “Same thing happens here. People say they won’t travel out of the country because of what they see happening elsewhere.”
He admits what happened in Texas and Las Vegas is incredibly sad, but he hopes people don’t give up travelling out of fear. “Some of those instances are used to paint a generalization of every location in the United States to include Bellingham.”
Cook feels that’s unfortunate because he thinks people may be limiting their life experiences. “I’d hate to see people reluctant to come visit simply because there has been an incident somewhere else in the United States.”
However, Washington state has seen its own tragedies. Back in September, one person was killed in a school shooting near Spokane in eastern Washington State and last year five people were killed in a shooting Cascade Mall in Burlington, just south of Bellingham.