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Thailand forum

Guns in Thailand

Posted by somtam2000 on 23/8/2013 at 11:19 admin

So saw a guy shot in the head and killed right in front of Prachuap Khiri Khan train station tonight. Apparently some gang dispute (the motorbike chase had run past us earlier), the guy killed was a kid -- maybe 18-22ish.

Right now I'm up for anyone to explain why guns are so freely available in Thailand.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 23/8/2013 at 11:37 admin

Well, anywhere for that matter.

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Posted by Captain_Bob on 23/8/2013 at 23:18

Sorry you had to witness that. Chances are they are Burmese fishermen. The whole "mai pen rai jai yen yen land of smiles" thing doesn't translate to a lot of young males who probably don't have much opportunity in life. Even here in Chiang Mai which is known for its peacefulness the most trouble comes from male teenagers on motorbikes late at night. Hormones + boredom + speed = aggression / gang mentality. Ironically some of these city kids belong to rich families and consider themselves above the law where a corrupt legal system means they can literally get away with murder. But I can't imagine too many rich families in PKK which is mostly a fishing town. Easy enough to get guns though, same as anything if you have the money and connections / corrupt cops.

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 24/8/2013 at 00:45

I found Prachuap such a low key relaxed town too. More people in the US own guns btw.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 24/8/2013 at 07:28 admin

Yeah Prachuap very sleepy - have been here 4/5 days now, but last night was a bit nuts.

@Bob I'd say privileged thugs - Thais - certainly not Burmese fishermen.

Gunfire aside, I'd like some better weather please :)

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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 24/8/2013 at 08:00

I know a rich Thai who owns about 5 guns.

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Posted by sayadian on 24/8/2013 at 09:13

If you witnessed something as bad as that it'll take awhile to get it out of your head. I was in Prachuap about a month ago, stayed in that big hotel on the front with balconies facing the amazing bay view. I must say it looked like the kind of place where the worst crime would be littering but there you go. Life is full of surprises. In this case rather an unpleasant one. I asked my wife why. She just says there are too many gangsters in Thailand.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 24/8/2013 at 09:20 admin

I walked back up to the train station today to see what evidence there was -- just three small white spray-pained shapes (by the police I assume) and not a trace of blood. Like it never happened.

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Posted by antoniamitchell on 24/8/2013 at 12:49

A lot of bored, testosterone-driven, status-hungry kids = trouble, sooner or later.

Add in a live-and-let-live mentality when it comes to availability of guns... no wonder why it all goes to %^*! sometimes.


So sorry you witnessed that, Somtam. Be well.

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Posted by SBE on 24/8/2013 at 15:37

I very nearly got run over on the road between Hua Hin and Cha Am once. Two pickups went past us at very high speed driving like absolute maniacs and swerving all over the place. The driver who was doing the chasing missed my leg by less than an inch according to friends who were on a bike behind us. He stopped just for a moment to turn round and wave a gun at us in a friendly manner and yell, Not you farang! It was nice of him to reassure us that we were not actually the people he was intent on killing.

I assumed it was some kind of mafia chase but it could have been anyone who felt he had a grudge to settle.

And when I was teaching at Mahidol years ago I casually mentioned that I found Bangkok a very safe city. My students disagreed very strongly that it was safe and spent the rest of the lesson telling me all about rajabhat gang wars. I'd never heard of them before but it's such a serious problem that the Thai government has set up boot camps to try and get students from rival vocational schools to interact without killing each other. Seems they use guns, knives and even homemade grenades in their fights and several students have been killed.

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Posted by MADMAC on 25/8/2013 at 02:46

Thailand has roughly double the US gun violence rate. Actually, outside of Western Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zeland (and Canada) gun violence is kind of normal.

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Posted by MADMAC on 26/8/2013 at 09:12

"Right now I'm up for anyone to explain why guns are so freely available in Thailand."

They're not in the sense that they are expensive here and to legally own them requires licensing. But if you are determined to get a gun, you will get one almost no matter what country you live in. It's not availability, but rather the willingness to use one.

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Posted by Tilapia on 26/8/2013 at 11:52

A friend took me along Thanon Burapha to check out the gem shop area which was, oddly, immediately adjacent to the main firearm-shopping area of Bangkok. She explained how difficult it is to buy a gun legally. But, of course, like most things in Thailand, they are available for either the right price, or to the right (rich) person.

By the way, 6 teens have been shot to death in Toronto since the beginning of 2013.

For anyone who hasn't been along that street, it's quite an eye-opener.

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Posted by MADMAC on 26/8/2013 at 22:37

For those who don't remmember, as I've pointed out before, in the six years I've lived here we've had four people shot on my block. My wife witnessed one of them. During the political upheavals here I tried to purchase a weapon just in case things really got ugly but even for a crappy little snub nose .38 (and a used one at that) the price was 28,000 baht. It was insane.

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