I'm sure that like the Police Minister we have all "occasionally used firearms to dispose of vermin from residential properties at various times". And if we have not, I'm sure we have all occasionally wished that such a thing were possible. Possums, rats, Mormons, there are very few annoyances that cannot be profitably addressed by a couple of rounds of buckshot.
(Not being as sure on the trigger as the Dead-Eye Dick currently polishing the ministerial leather for the Police Service, I would opt for a generous spread of shot, rather than pin-point accuracy, were this state's ridiculous laws against discharging firearms within the home not so outrageously restrictive.)
It seems a heinous irony that the LNP should be the ones beset by a fit of the vapours over this. If anyone was going to stand up for a Queenslander's right to shoot things in his own home, I would expect it to be the LNP. Why, in the days of the old National Party a fellow did not dare seek preselection without having blasted a few rodent-shaped holes in the fibro. And before that, in the Country Party era, merely claiming to have done so would not have passed muster at all. You had to present the carcass, or at least a sufficiently identifiable percentage of it, to the preselection committee to have any chance of seeing off the Labor Horde at the ballot box.
Old Joh's ghost would not be pleased and I'm sure this is why Jeff Seeney is getting out. If a bloke can't enjoy a quiet sit down in the recliner rocker, with a cup of tea and his favourite shotty, then we can hardly claim that life is great in the Sunshine State because such claims are demonstrably untrue.
Rather than piling on to shame Bill Byrne and traduce his reputation, we should be hailing the minister and encouraging him to take up the shooting irons again. Regular readers of this column will know that The Instrument has long railed against the harsh frontier realities of living on the harsh frontiers of the city's inner suburbs. Aggressive magpies, entitled possums and cane toads that seem to grow ever more indestructible each summer are the lot of the modern pioneer. Yet our hands are tied by convention and law.
I do not judge Bill Byrne. I envy him his one-time freedom of action, and wonder if he might like to come around to my place one evening for a few quiet ales and a word with an especially fat marsupial that has taken up residence directly above my wide screen TV.
I need someone with a good aim.