But one neednt look to fiction to be wary: History offers numerous examples of well-intentioned policies to control crime that have had disastrous consequences.
In my new book, Gun Control in the Third Reich, one particularly horrific case study begins in Germany during the tumultuous early 1930s.
Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress in April about an idea he had directed the Department of Justice to investigate: a requirement that gun owners wear electronic bracelets that would enable only registered owners to activate their firearms.
Some critics, focusing on abusive surveillance powers, have called it Orwellian.
After Germany's invasion of Poland, Himmler was given total control of the annexed parts of the country.
Within a year more than one million Poles and 300,000 Jews had been forced out to be replaced with German settlers.
He served in the German army at the end of World War One and then had a variety of jobs, including working as a chicken farmer.
He became involved with the Nazi party in the early 1920s and took part in the 'beer hall' putsch of 1923.
Himmler was obsessed with racial purity in Germany and encouraged Aryan 'breeding programmes'.
The outbreak of World War Two allowed Himmler to pursue another racial goal - the elimination of Jews and other so-called 'sub-humans'.