As those of you in Toronto definitely know, there's a child-killer (more) that quite likely lives within a short walk of Ryan, Danielle, and Saira. The police are now doing (or at least asking the residents to do) “voluntary” DNA tests. So far, if you say “yes” they don't typically test you, they just write down that you said yes. I don't know what happens if you say no.
But let us remind ourselves of one of the core truths of liberty that events like September 11th outlined: It is in times of crisis that we must most hold onto our civil liberties. The police have no right to do blanket DNA testing (more, more) of everyone in the area in the hope that it might catch someone. If we're to operate with the presumption of innocence, I am very uncomfortable with laying the foundation for this kind of tyranny where there is instead a presumption of guilt. After all, if you're not a suspect, at least a little, they have no need to be test you.
“If you think I'm guilty, arrest me and prove it. Otherwise piss off.”
Is it horrible that a little girl was abducted and her body later dismembered and then dumped? Of course, but it's also irrelevant. Countries like Canada and America are great places in theory because of the freedom they offer their people. Just because we're scared, be it of the monster in a turban or be it the monster next door, is no excuse for trampling the foundation of our nations' beauty. Innocent people should not have to face persecution just for living in the vicinity of a crime.
…and as Ryan points out, do you really trust the government that much?
Allowing things like this to happen voluntarily guarantees a few things:
- Eventually it will become the status quo, and not long after it will not be voluntary any more. Most laws don't exist to protect right and wrong — they exist to maintain the norm.
- Once it happens a few times, it “makes more sense” to keep the DNA records on file. All voluntarily of course, at least at first.
- The severity of crime this technique can be used for will grow lesser and lesser until “sweep investigation” becomes the effective norm.
And before you say “oh, crazy conspiracy Shannon” go look at the way laws appear. This crap happens all the time, and has for most of history.