Prapun Bunpan, columnist, in Matichon (February 10, 2020)
Summary by Tom Tuohy (Photo credit: Youkonton / Shutterstock.com)
The Buddhist festival on February 8 should have been a peaceful holiday, but a shocking event took place at Nakhon Ratchasima, where over 18 hours an army soldier killed 29 people and injured 58 others before he was shot dead.
There are interesting points about the Korat shooting to consider. First, it is easy jump to the conclusion that the tragedy happened because of the personal frustrations of one person. But it is undeniable that the attacker was a military man who murdered people using army weapons, bought with taxpayers’ money. Unfortunately, the killer cannot be questioned.
Second, how can the army guarantee the following: high standards for the storage and disarming of weapons, the mental health of young people, and that such an incident – a soldier with heavy weapons killing innocent people in public areas – will not happen again.
Third, while the Lopburi robbery in January, which resulted in the deaths of three people, and the Korat shooting may differ in many details, one common element is they both happened in large department stores. Shopping centers are public areas that support people’s way of life in a modern society as temples and markets did in the past. They are full of people and enclosed spaces, and can be so complex that when serious crimes occur, it can be difficult for those inside to escape or for emergency responders to enter.
For many years, the government has attached great importance to internal security by expanding the military’s Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC). But what are the real "dangers to internal security"? Could there be a particularly catastrophic incident in the community perpetrated by those who possess military weapons? Even if unlikely, it is still another "near danger" that the government must be aware of and find ways to prevent.