With so many deaths by gun, should we still send our kids to study in US?
A body is covered with a sheet in the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South after a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. Source: Reuters/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus

Gun massacres in Las Vegas or terrorist attacks in London should be considered when making this decision.

But Mike Rowse, search director for Stanton Chase International and a parent of university-going kids himself, says they should not be the determining factors.

Writing in the South China Morning Post, Rowse argues that every location holds a certain degree of risk. Using Hong Kong as an example, Rowse, who lives there, notes that it not only has some of the finest higher education institutions in the world, it is also one of the world’s safest cities.

However, that’s not the entire picture. There are other factors to be considered, such as the availability of courses available in Hong Kong and how letting our children study abroad will give them an enriching experience.

These were some of the things Rowse and his family thought about when deciding on which university his teenage children should attend.

A woman writes a message on one of the white crosses set up for the victims of the Route 91 Harvest music festival mass shooting in Las Vegas. Source: Reuters/Chris Wattie

In the end, Rowse’s teenage daughter settled on the University of California, Los Angeles. While LA is only four hours away from the scene of the ghastly gun shooting last week, Rowse’s daughter had to also consider that as a film-making student, being close to Hollywood is a big boon.

“Would she have chosen differently if the Las Vegas mass shooting had come earlier? Highly unlikely, nor would I have sought to persuade her. Would London – scene of several terrorist incidents in recent years – be any safer?” Rowse wrote.

“Important decisions in life should be taken on the overall balance of arguments. Provided we are not reckless in the thinking process and don’t ignore some highly relevant and probable adverse conditions, we have to accept that there is a degree of risk in all options.”

Earlier this month, a gunman opened fire at concert-goers at a Las Vegas entertainment venue in one of the most tragic gun-related incidents to have happened on US soil. Fifty-eight people died, while hundreds more were injured.

As Rowse notes, this is not the first time gun shootings have ended fatally. The Financial Times, cited non-profit organisation Gun Violence Archive’s data that there had been 274 mass shootings (in which at least four people were killed or injured) so far in 2017.

The tragedy has put the state of Nevada on alert, including its universities. Alligator reported that one University of Florida student was injured in the Las Vegas shooting and is now suffering from a collapsed lung, raising concerns among other students about the safety of future events that may be affected by another active shooter situation.

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