Labor Day, the Border, and Our 2nd Amendment Rights
Written by Jacqueline Smith
We were well on our way to Washington DC for the 9/12 March. Our children received wonderful memories and lots of history. We thought it would be wonderful to see Niagara Falls. We planned on seeing Niagara Falls the entire time, but figured we would travel through Buffalo NY and then backtrack and see Palmyra on our way to Boston. Our KOA situation became grim as it was Labor Day weekend and really didn’t know how far we would get until the day we needed the rental, so we traveled North into Michigan to stay at a KOA that could accommodate us. This took us off the original track. The next day we plotted Niagara Falls into the Garmin and it took us north to the Canadian border. Oops.
Having traveled to Canada in the past, I remembered that my Driver’s License was a valid form of ID for crossing the border. Wrong. Just this June 2009 a new law went into effect that even though getting into Canada is fairly easy, without a passport or birth certificate, you can’t get back into the U.S.
Well, when asked if we had any firearms, we were honest and explained we had a handgun, and a shotgun. Remember that because we are in a motor home, in the U.S. we have the right to bear arms according to the second amendment of the Constitution. What ensued next, surprised us. We were sent to the immigration office on the Canadian side. Women in bulletproof vests escorted us (with our little children in tow) out of the motor home. They inspected the motor home and confiscated our handgun. (Apparently, handguns are illegal in Canada.) We were told if allowed to stay and pass through Canada, they could not guarantee we would allowed back in the United States. However, if we turned around here at the checkpoint, we would have to be allowed back in. We thought okay, it completely throws off the schedule, but we love the United States and like our rights here. Therefore, we opted to turn around. After being escorted back to our RV, the woman in heavy protective clothing, reached into her pocket and placed our handgun in a rag in the outside compartment and watched us lock it. They would not allow it back on board. Nor would they allow us to touch it.
Heading back to the U.S. I felt relieved, but also felt nervous. Border agents walk by cars and ask them what brings people to the U.S. Knowing honesty is always the best policy, we told them what happened. The feeling of dread instantly left us. Not only were we treated wonderfully, but everyone wanted to know about our guns, telling what kind they had. A completely different feeling pervaded.
Upon entrance to the U.S. because we were Canada rejects, we have to go back through U.S. customs. Not something that is normal. They had a TV going and what was on but FOX NEWS. This was a sigh of relief for me. Once inside they had to clarify our rejection, check ID, confirm our concealed carry permit, and inspect our guns. They also took down our serial numbers for the books. Not sure how I feel about that, but we weren’t in a position to argue. I proceeded to ask many questions to the officer that was processing us.
We found out that Garmin and the navigation system that gives the shortest route to Niagara Falls is responsible for catching quite a few illegal aliens and criminals. But that’s redundant. Because once they cross, if they are turned away, they are caught on the way back in. They said this happens all the time, every day. They were especially busy with Labor Day. We also found out that the reason the Canadians were so freaked out by us, is that their Border Patrol agents are not armed at all. They aren’t allowed to carry weapons. All the Canadian agents had bulletproof vests on. American agents, just wore their blue shirts, with a beautiful weapon strapped on their side, showing anyone looking who is boss. The officer told us that, as I stated earlier, handguns are illegal, and that’s the real reason we were turned away, but because we didn’t have proper ID that made it a sealed deal.
They were required to inspect our vehicle to see our guns, and when my husband opened the side compartment on the outside of the RV, the officer said, “Why are you putting that nice of a gun in a rag outside your vehicle?” My husband explained the border patrol agent incident in Canada. He told us to just put it back in our RV, and not worry as long as we had the ammo in a separate place. My husband and the officer talked for a bit about different guns they both owned and we were sent on our way. We were treated with great respect.
The gun culture of America is wonderful. In Canada we were seen as such a threat, and in America in was almost exciting for these agents to meet responsible, gun-toting citizens, that were behaving in a respectful and responsible manner.
What a wonderful country we live in. Our rights are what make us a great nation. It is imperative that we continue to stand for liberty and freedom in all aspects of our lives. Our Constitution was founded on principles that will stand forever, but as citizens of this great land, it is important to remember that it will only remain when we understand our freedoms, and when we quickly put our policies and our elected officials back on track when we notice our freedoms being eroded.
FREEDOM CAN WIN!