I think that if you were to poll actual gun owners, you’d find a lot of them are kind of sick of being blamed for the actions of criminals.
That’s pretty par for the course here in the US, after all. When the homicide rate increases, anti-gunners often start pushing gun control, saying that we absolutely need to ban these particular weapons or this particular practice and that if we don’t, we’ll see more homicides.
Yet when you look at the crimes in question, we often find most are driven by people who are already possessing a firearm illegally.
Which brings me to Thailand.
We’ve seen some mass shootings there over the last couple of years, some of which were particularly bad. There have also been some other shootings, mostly where innocent people have been caught in the crossfire.
Despite the government’s efforts to take strict measures to control gun violence following the shooting of a 17-year-old at Paragon in October, there have been at least two other incidents in Bangkok recently.
The first incident occurred on Saturday, November 11, when a group of teenagers were involved in a shootout in which Maria Sirada Sinprasert, also known as “Teacher Jeab” who teaches computer skills at Sacred Heart Convent School, was accidentally shot. She was shot in front of TMB Thanachart Bank, Khlong Toey Branch, Sunthorn Kesa Road. She later died in hospital.
On Monday morning, November 13, there was another incident when two groups of teenagers exchanged gunfire and explosives. A 15-year-old 5th grade student was killed in the crossfire near the entrance to Soi Phatthanakan 53, which runs parallel to the Bangkok-Chonburi motorway in Suan Luang district.
These are awful, tragic situations.
But before we get further into what happened, let’s understand that these are both shootings that resulted from a shootout between groups of teenagers.
In Thailand, the minimum age to own any firearm is 20.
Carrying a gun in public requires a concealed carry permit. Thailand isn’t Texas, after all, especially considering the rest of the gun laws on the books.
Despite that, both of these shootings happened. Clearly, people were breaking the laws on the books to even get those guns, so it’s not a reach to assume that they also didn’t have permits to carry a firearm lawfully.
That’s not stopping officials there from wanting to punish lawful gun owners.
Anutin Charnvirakul, the Interior Minister, spoke out in favour of banning all Thai citizens from carrying weapons.
“We cannot allow people to carry guns because if students and teachers are shot like this, can society bear it? It’s not just about vocational students, it’s about everyone,” said Anutin.
Anutin also addressed the problem that there are more than 10 million legally owned firearms in Thailand. He explained that instead of allowing individuals to carry guns for self-defence, it is crucial to strengthen trust in the law and the state to ensure public safety. He emphasised the need for a stricter legal framework.
Except, of course, that the laws clearly didn’t stop these groups of teens from carrying guns. Yet despite that fact, Anutin wants to deprive lawful gun owners of their ability to carry a firearm, even if they have a permit.
I guess it’s good to know that this particular flavor of stupid is universal.
The criminals in Thailand aren’t going to do anything any differently. They’ll keep obtaining guns illegally, carrying them illegally, and using them illegally. Absolutely nothing is going to change because they took away lawful gun owners’ ability to carry a firearm in public.
Nothing at all.
But we also need to remember that this insanity doesn’t stay overseas. If the rates of illegal gun use drop, even due to literally any other reason, what is happening in Thailand will be pushed here in the United States.
That means we probably need to figure out a way to network gun rights groups all over the world as well as offer guidance to those who live in nations without such a group on how to start one. We need to make gun rights a universal push, even in nations without the Second Amendment.
The stupid won’t stay in foreign lands, so neither should the right to keep and bear arms.