...but getting all a-twitter about a couple of .30-caliber M240's on some Coast Guard patrol craft doesn't do much for the national image of virility traditionally associated with postcard images of Mounties, lumberjacks, and gap-toothed hockey players.
Trust us: those peashooters aren't on the boats to turn them into "gunboats". They're not there because we're planning on invading Canada (we hope we'll be able to take you quietly someday.) And they're certainly not there because we're all a-feared that the rabid Canuckistanian hordes are about to pour over our northern border, swimming ashore at Lakeshore Drive and terrorizing the shoppers at Water Tower Place.
No, the boats have belt-feds on them because there are things along the shores of the Great Lakes that we'd rather not have blown up, and having a 240 handy could keep them in an un-blowed-up condition.
So calm down and don't panic; we're still your buddies. When we sail the USS Tarawa up the St. Lawrence, then you can panic.