Friday, November 25, 2011

Arming Canada's border guards!

Ok, so 5 years ago, Canadian border agents finally got what they wanted: guns.  Gave them a feel of equality with their American counterparts...  total cost so far $214 million, and three shots fired (two by mistake, one to take out a moose).

Now lets talk of the human toll.  A few years ago at the Quebec, NY border I had to go into the US immigration side, and things were slow (papers to process), I asked the agent how much his kit weighed, first off a handgun is rather heavy, but the total (gun, two clips, baton, and manacles) plus the leather belt was 25 pounds.  These guys wear that day in day out (even when sitting at their desks...) on top of that most wear bullet proof vests -- not heavy but constricting.  The result, back pain is chronic in the business.

Still $214 million -- that's lots of cash for bagging one moose (FYI, the moose was hurt, it was a mercy killing).  Also there have been 10 "fire arm storage" infraction -- my guess is that a border guard didn't store his weapon properly.  Granted you plan for worse possible outcome when manning Canada's borders, and it cannot be easy every day (especially at some of the quieter and remote crossings), still not a single "real" instance of needing a firearm in 5 years, sometimes what looked like a reasonable idea is a huge waste of resources.

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