American gun control activists routinely argue that mass shootings are an American problem. They argue that other countries just don’t have the problems we do and that’s the result of their gun control regulations.
Thailand, for example, has very restrictive gun control laws.
That fact is likely to be cold comfort to a whole lot of people right about now after at least 34 people, 22 of which were children, were killed in a mass shooting.
A former policeman killed 34 people including 22 children in a gun rampage at a daycare centre in eastern Thailand on Thursday, later shooting dead his wife and child at their home before turning his weapon on himself, police said.
Police identified the attacker as a former member of the force who was dismissed from his post last year over drug allegations. He was facing trial on a drugs charge and had been in court in the hours before the shooting, police said.
District police official Chakkraphat Wichitvaidya cited witnesses as saying the gunman was also seen wielding a knife in the attack in the town of Uthai Sawan, 500 km (310 miles) northeast of Bangkok in the province of Nong Bua Lamphu.
About 30 children were at the centre when the gunman arrived, fewer than usual, as heavy rain had kept many people away, district official Jidapa Boonsom, who was working in a nearby office at the time, told Reuters.
The body count may well have been higher, but it seems the weather kept a lot of people away from the center that day.
Reuters acknowledges Thailands gun control laws, however:
Gun laws are strict in Thailand, where possession of an illegal firearm carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years, but ownership is high compared with some other countries in the region.
Illegal weapons, many brought in from strife-torn neighbouring countries, are common.
And based on the charges the shooter was facing, it’s unlikely he actually had a permit for a legal firearm. Instead, he probably was in possession of one of the millions of illegal firearms that can be found in Thailand.
Now, with all that out of the way, let’s get into the meat here.
What we’re seeing is a horrific shooting with a death toll just slightly higher than we saw in Uvalde, only this time in a heavily gun-controlled country. The loss of life is staggering in part because these were children, once again.
It’s beyond awful.
And it also illustrates the problem with mass shootings isn’t a lack of gun control as Thailand has plenty. The problem is that there are evil people who are willing to slaughter innocent people for absolutely no reason discernable to the rational mind.
34 innocent people are dead because some jackwagon simply wanted to kill them.
How do you legislate that degree of sickness away? How can you simply mandate that people not be that broken inside?
You can’t. It’s not remotely possible.
What will happen now, though, is that this will basically vanish from the American media. We’ll see this report and talk about it, then it will be quickly forgotten, much like the Russian school shooting recently. It’ll drop out of the western news cycle almost immediately.
Whether that’s because it doesn’t help advance the narrative or because the western media doesn’t care about dead kids in Asia is mostly irrelevant.
But it will make it easier for some to pretend that mass shootings are a uniquely American issue, even though Thailand isn’t in the US.