PolySciFi Blog

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Bring Back Horror-Movie Cliché Profiling!

I believe that you should be innocent until proven guilty. I don't think police should detain you for hours and hours because they've got a bad feeling about you. On the other hand, a little thought experiment: you're working as a border guard in Calais. And a guy wants to enter the United States. His papers are all in order, but he's got brass knuckles with him. I think most people would agree that you should let him in. Maybe confiscate the brass knuckles, maybe not, but let him in.

So repeat the experiment. This time, say he's got brass knuckles and a hatchet. Let him in, or no? Again, I think I'd let him in. Take the knuckles, leave the hatchet? I don't know, but I'd let him into the country.

Now add a knife to the mix. No law against knives, right? Right. So he's ok with brass knuckles, a hatchet, and a knife.

Ah. But imagine he comes back, and this time he's still got the brass knuckles, he's still got the hatchet, he's still got the knife, but he's also carrying a homemade sword. Maybe he went to a Canadian Renaissance fair, and maybe not. Maybe you should ask some questions at this point. I think I could imagine letting him in, depending on the plausibility of his explanations for all the weapons. I'd totally keep the sword myself, though.

Ok. So, let's do the experiment one more time. Let's say he's got brass knuckles, a hatchet, a knife, a homemade sword, and a bloodstained chainsaw. Big red splotches all over the chainsaw blade. And he looks like this guy (scroll down for photo). Should anyone be surprised that he had a questionable history in Canada (and by questionable, I mean that he left his neighbor's severed head in a pillowcase under a kitchen table, among other things)...

As a sad footnote to this bizzare story; one of the killer's victims was "a 2001 inductee in the Minto Country Music Wall of Fame." Minto has 2,700 residents.


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