“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. They think they’re not safe in the United States and so they don’t come.”
— Secretary of State John F. Kerry, interview with CNN, April 15, 2013
Kerry’s comments, made in an interview as he ended a 10-day around-the-world trip, spawned numerous headlines, including this one from CNN: “Kerry: Foreign students ‘scared’ of guns in U.S.”
In the interview, Kerry specifically cited Japan, noting that it has highly restrictive gun laws and thus relatively few deaths from gun violence. “They think they’re not safe in the United States and so they don’t come,” he said, before noting that he was “out of politics” and so no longer involved in the debate.
Yes, but he is Secretary of State now, so his words resonate around the world. What do the facts show?