Take, for example, a recent CNN piece on garbage from Toronto going to Michigan. Now, some senator from Michigan is getting all hysterical about the garbage coming over the border. Now, he's been up in arms about this forever. Only now - he can invoke the magic "national security" talismanic words, and suddenly it's a serious issue.
Apparenlty, there's some huge danger that trucks carrying Canadian garbage might instead be carrying a weapon of mass destruction.
[Aside: one could make the argument that guns could be smuggled. However, that argument defeats itself - why would someone import guns from Canada, where they're highly controlled and hard to get, when you can just buy an AK-47 at any of a thousand stores and gun shows?]
So, let's see. Last I checked, the only land border Canada has is with the US, unless the Danes have finished that land bridge from Denmark to Iceland to Greenland to Hans Island to Ellesmere Island to Nunavut. This means that either a) someone is building weapons of mass destruction somewhere in Canada - you know, from all the abandoned nuclear warheads - or b) someone is smuggling weapons of mass destruction into Canada and then taking them across the border via a garbage truck coming from Canada's
Let's look at the more likely - option b.
First, how are the smuggling said weapon in? Assuming port secutiry is the same in both countries, why not just go direct, if you're going to use a port? If you're going to ship it across yourself, last I checked, not that many zodiacs are capable of making the trip from, say, Ishfahan across the northern Pacific to the BC mainland.
And then - as opposed to the thousands of kilometres of land with no border or guards, or the great lakes that are essentially unpatrolled - no - we want to risk a land crossing over a guarded and inspected border.
I.e., it's all nonsense.
But the amazing thing is, people take him seriously, this senator. At least one Toronto City Council member had the sense to point out that most young men killing other young men with guns are doing so with guns bought legally in the US and brought illegally into Canada.
However, the next time I'm arguing with anyone about anything, I'm going to invoke national security. Because once you invoke that, anyone who questions you clearly is helping the terrorists win. ("You don't want sushi tonight? You're helping the terrorists. Why do you hate freedom?")