Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Detained at the Canadian border

Something happened to me last night that has never happened before. After curling in Canada for about 21 seasons now, I was subjected to a vehicular search as I entered that great nation. And I was not in the least bit perturbed by it.

Nations have the right to secure their borders. Part of that is ensuring that those who cross those borders pose no threat to the nation they are entering. And as I am not a Canadian citizen with a moral right to be in Canada, I have no trouble with even random searches of my vehicle when entering Canada. Canada has the right to know that those who are attempting to cross her boundaries are no threat.

I am not one of those who think that borders are artificial or arbitrary. They exist de facto (by the force of fact) or de jure (by the force of law) and as such have rightful moral existence. I would go so far as to argue that it is absurd, even comical, to believe otherwise.

Yes, I have gotten upset about border delays coming into my own country. That is because, as a citizen of the United States, I have the moral right to be in my own nation. I have no such right to be in Canada. There may well be solid philosophic arguments as to why Canada should let me enter, or even for relatively open borders generally. But I see no imperative that Canada or any other nation should allow me within their borders no questions asked.

I am happy that I was let in. Curling season is drawing to a close, and I want to finish it with my curling friends. Still, it is imperative upon me to recognize and accept the right of Canada to make sure I'm an okay guy who can be safely allowed in. I am at Her mercy in that regard, and that is how it should be.

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