Sunday, August 22, 2004

George Orwell's DNA

I read lately that the Chief of Toronto’s Police force wants to create a DNA database that would be used to store the DNA of anyone and everyone who is charged with a crime. Yes, that’s right – charged. Not convicted – just charged.

Get caught with a doobie and charged with possession - defend yourself against an intruder and get charged with assault - protest outside your MPs office and get charged with disturbing the peace and ‘poof’ the state takes possession of your biological blueprint.

The proponents of this frightening idea seem to be totally oblivious of the fact that law enforcement officials, bureaucrats and politicians never demand less power, they always, always demand more. Ask yourself, when was the last time you heard a politician say: “After careful consideration, I have concluded that I have far too much power with respect to my ability to regulate the lives of my constituents. Therefore, I am tabling legislation that will severely curtail my abilities in this respect.”

Never, that’s when.

Seems to me that collecting the DNA of anyone charged with a crime is just one step away from collecting it from all dads who miss their child support payments. And that is just one step away from collecting it from anyone who fails to file their income tax. Eventually we will become so desensitized to the process that we will accept mandatory collection of DNA at birth.

And once the DNA sample is taken, who would have ownership of it? Would it be the RCMP, who pepper-sprayed peaceful protesters and conducted raids on bureaucrats who displeased our omnipotent King Jean? Would it be the Toronto police force, which is mired in scandal and will soon be under the leadership of a left-wing chief personally selected by our dysfunctional Police Services Board? We live in a society where politicians at all levels of government continually expand their powers and demand increasing control of our lives. Do we really want these people in charge of an expanding DNA database? Geez, hasn’t anyone read Ayn Rand or George Orwell?

One-hundred years ago our forefathers would have laughed at the thought of government confiscating 50% of our wages to register farmers’ guns and give grants to buy votes from special interest groups. They would never have believed that their grand children would have to grovel in front of a bureaucrat for a license to cut down a tree or erect a shed on our property or sell lemonade on the sidewalk in front of our house. Our ancestors would be horrified to see the extent to which the government invades our lives today.

The road to total state regulation and control is not one that is traveled overnight – it is a long insidious journey that happens so slowly, so as to be unnoticeable. George Orwell was not a paranoid idiot – he was a cynical visionary who sought to warn us of what our world will become unless we stand up to those in control of our oversized, arrogant nanny-state and say “enough already”.


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