UPDATE: So the new post with additional information
Some blame the rise in gun crime on political instability that has gripped Thailand since a 2006 coup that removed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Unrest culminated in a two-month stand-off in 2010 between government troops and “red shirt” protesters backing Thaksin and clashes that killed 91 people.
Others say that the seeming impunity enjoyed by the wealthy has prompted some to take the law into their own hands.
All this underscores a growing sense of lawlessness since the 2006 coup. Gun crime in Bangkok has more than doubled and the new police chief, described by a deputy prime minister as a “thug-catching type”, has vowed to take weapons off the streets.
Thailand has the highest gun murder rate in Asia, according to www.gunpolicy.org, a site hosted by the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health in Australia.
There were 5.3 murders by firearms per 100,000 people in Thailand in 2011, compared to 0.2 in the Philippines, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported.
“Guns are coming through all of Thailand’s borders to the north, east and west of the country,” said Supisan Pakdinarunat, Commander of Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division.
BP: BP was surprised with link with the 2006 coup and the level of unlawfulness (and also the low homicide rate for the Philippines) so checked the UNODC figures and created screenshots below:
Source: UNODC – have only included 2002-2011 figures (they start from 1995 in the source) and made changes to the appearance of the data so it fits in the width of a webpage. Have excluded “Western Asia” as the Middle East would be a more apt description for most countries.
BP: Thailand has a high homicide rate compared to many other countries in Asia (although you will see only limited data for most countries is available), but the number of homicides and the rate have actually dropped since 2006. Actually, the 4.8 homicide rate per 100,000 matches the latest homicide rate in the US (from 2010) listed by the UNODC. The gunpolicy.org is currently down so hard to verify their data, but BP has not seen any data that suggests that gun violence in Thailand is on the rise. If anything, it is becoming less of a problem despite more news on TV about it….