Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: Parents the key to ending gang violence

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The tragic shooting of a 15-year-old boy during the closing ceremony of this year’s Phuket Vegetarian Festival is yet another brutal reminder that the island’s increasing urbanization is having a dire effect on the cornerstone of any successful society: the family unit.

The on-going investigation into the shooting of Thanakij Sawirum, who was apparently caught in the crossfire of two rival gangs, also reveals that not only is gang activity prevalent in Phuket, but that the authorities’ efforts to keep firearms out of the hands of the general public, including minors, continue to fail abysmally.

Saphan Hin, where the murder took place, has long been the island’s hotbed of gang activity. This is hardly surprising. As Phuket’s largest public park, it hosts an almost endless series of large public events, from the Songkran water throwing chaos and the Vegetarian “Festival” mayhem to motor racing spectacles and many more that attract untold thousands of people from across the island, not to mention visiting tourists.

As a public park, the sale of alcohol is technically forbidden. However, the reality is that cheap alcohol is readily available and there are few places on the island where more drinking takes place – not to mention all sorts of other drug consumption.

Responsible parents know the park is relatively safe during daylight hours, but that their children’s safety there inevitably falls after dusk. This is especially true for teens and young adults with raging hormones and limited experience in how to control themselves while under the influence.

We respect the religious beliefs of the many island residents who hold as sacred the rites associated with the Vegetarian Festival. But from a more secular perspective, parents will now have to think much longer and harder before allowing their teenagers to join the closing ceremonies of that event next year. Having so many people together in so many different psychological states creates the perfect storm for dangerous confrontations to arise.

Yet many of the teens involved in this tragedy were not only there unaccompanied by adults, but riding around in packs on motorbikes, armed with loaded pistols. Though police are actively doing their best, the front line in the battle against gang violence and to ensure children are not caught in the crossfire comes down to parents.

Famed American pioneer Elizabeth Stone once said: “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

We plead with all parents to take those words to heart, because we can imagine no worse heartbreak than losing a child.

The Vegetarian Festival is meant to be a ritual of communal purification. To allow even a single youth to lose his or her life in this way is the greatest disrespect we could show to the countless ancestors whose sacrifices gave us the incredible gift of consciousness in these most interesting, but precarious, times.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Economy49 mins ago

Bank of Thailand plans real-world test of digital currency in 2022

Hua Hin2 hours ago

Hua Hin calls for delay in reopening amid Covid-19 infections

Chiang Mai2 hours ago

Chiang Mai Covid-19 infections swell ahead of reopening

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Koh Samui3 hours ago

Thailand’s bars and beach parties remain strictly closed (cough)

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Covid-19 Sunday: Deaths fall to low of 56, provincial data

Tourism5 hours ago

Ministry of Foreign Affairs sings praises of Thailand Pass

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Covid-19 in prison: outbreaks from overcrowding now subsiding

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Covid-19 deaths receding, but still here; 1 month old baby dies

Crime22 hours ago

Van packed with 39 illegal burmese workers stopped in Phichit

Vietnam24 hours ago

Vietnam to test reopening starting with Phu Quoc Island

World1 day ago

Chinese law to limit homework and tutoring pressure on kids

Bangkok1 day ago

Thai man takes grandfather hostage in Bangkok standoff

Thailand1 day ago

Covid-19 forces 70 private schools out of business, 100 to follow

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Covid-19 clusters prompt lockdown in 3 Korat villages

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Thammasat University says vaccines slowed by government docs

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism8 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending