Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 05.22.06
Stanstead, Quebec


Guns, guns for everyone

Canada Customs officers were jumping with joy (albeit without cracking a smile) recently after they learned that the federal Conservatives will honour their pledge to start providing them with guns.

"First of all, it's not 'Customs officers' any more, it's 'border guards,'" said Chantalle Champoux, a spokeswoman for the Canada Customs and Excess Union at a press conference in Stanhope last Friday. "We're guards. We stand on guard for thee. Or it might be ye; that's not really part of our training."

"Anyway, the point is, what with Free Trade and all, we've had to reassess our role along the world's longest undefended - I might say 'porous' - border," she continued.

"Frankly, since we no longer need to collect all those duties and limit people to one turkey per visit State-side, we don't have much to do. Thank goodness for world politics and the culture of fear."

"We need guns to adequately protect Canadians against the unwanted scum that tries to enter this great country of Quebec - I mean, Canada. And do you know who these undesirables are? Bush-hating liberals trying to escape the U.S. And what scares a liberal most? A gun, that's what. One peek at a pistol and those lefties will turn tail and scuttle back to their Vermont communes where they belong."

Challenged by a reporter that introducing guns to Customs officers would only increase the level of danger at the border for all citizens, and that if you have a gun, the temptation is to use the gun, Champoux explained that the world is a dangerous place.

"We need the tools. If 9/11 taught us anything it's that you have to be prepared for all situations. There's no sense closing the stable door after the terrorists have blown up the farm and poisoned the food supply," she said.

"For example, since the U.S. began arming air marshals, there have been no violent incidences on commercial airplanes... except for that mentally ill man who ended up getting shot by an air marshal. But the exception proves the rule!"

Meanwhile, as a result of the Conservatives' caving, other groups are starting a call for arms.

For example, the Canadian Association of Vaguely Hot Lifeguards is asking to be given the right to wear sidearms at beaches and public pools.

"We're all about protection," said spokesmodel Dave Chadwell. "Protecting swimmers, protecting our skin with SPF 35 and that white nose zinc. Sometimes we have to watch over large groups of people. And wherever you have large groups of people, you have a potential terrorist target. Suicide bombers at Lake Simco: it could happen. Plus sharks. We might have to shoot sharks."

Meanwhile, the National Society of School Crossing Guards has begun lobbying to arm its members in urban centres with automatic weapons. Their spokesman Joy Matherin spoke to reporters in Toronto this week:

"According to statistics provided us by the federal Conservative's new Department of Scary Facts and Skewed Figures, incidents of 'road rage' have increased tenfold since 1943. There are some angry, angry soccer moms out there. We need to protect our workers and we need to protect the people we're supposed to protect. And, umů yeah, that's it. Protection."

Asked why the crossing guards' weapons needed to be automatic, Matherin replied, "Have you seen cars in the city? They move fast!"

Finally, The National Association of Tetchy Proofreaders is asking to be allowed to wear sidearms in all professional copyediting situations.

"Editors can be extremely aggressive. Plus most of them are liberals," said association president Herb Grunlin. "We proofreaders need to protect ourselves and our readers. If we allow 'light' to be spelled L-I-T-E, then the terrorists win."