CRITICS be warned – Health Minister Edwin Poots has a gun and ain’t afraid to use it. Yes, the Minister for Health, Social Service and Public Safety took up arms to fire his shotgun in the air to warn off intruders.
Given the spate of rustling and theft of farm machinery, this was no doubt
justified. However, had he aimed his weapon and achieved a hit with the
buckshot then he could have called an ambulance and called the A&E
department warning them to fast track the case.
But we believe that Minister Poots actions could set a new precedent for arming
our Ministers. While this may make a certain tubby radio presenter a little bit
nervous, it would also make meeting ministers interesting. “Yes, Minister for
Social Development we do want more funding….Hold on! Is the safety catch off
Perhaps more interestingly it would make sure that civil servants would be a
little more respectful of their ministers. “Yes, Minister, now if you’ll lower
that shotgun I’ll make sure the work is actually done this time.”
On a more serious note, it does highlight the issue that gun control is being
reviewed in Northern Ireland, and given the events in Aurora, Colorado last
week, we can be thankful that even a Minister has to make sure he has the
appropriate approvals and controls on owning a weapon; otherwise who knows what
may face farmers when rustlers appear.