Let me begin by repeating –and I can't do this often enough in the era of official disinformation-- that as a libertarian, I am absolutely and unalterably opposed to the INITIATION of aggressive force! While the agents of the census bureau are conducting what is certainly a needlessly intrusive and extra-constitutional “data mining” operation on behalf of Leviathan, it is inexcusable for anyone to initiate lethal force against another human being on that basis alone, regardless of their occupation. A reasonable person (yes, I know those are in short supply these days, but that's for another future rant and is neither here nor there) would simply tell the visiting bureaucrat “I will cooperate with you by providing the only piece of information you need to perform your duties in accordance with the constitutionally stated purpose of the census, and that is the number of people in my household for purposes of congressional enumeration. That number is [#]. Be sure that write that down. Good day to you, sir/ma'am.” If they attempt to elicit further information, one should gently but firmly refuse to cooperate and close the door. While it's possible that there will be legal consequences for refusal to complete the full survey, that is for addressing in the future. The bottom line is that you will have fully cooperated with the census bureau in giving it the information it needs to fulfill its constitutional duties.
I have no way of knowing how Sparkman conducted himself on his appointed rounds. If his mother's and his acquaintances' descriptions of his personality are accurate, he most likely was not forceful or officious in making his presence felt. The two “case workers” who visited my house back in late April to conduct an “address check”, while far from surly in their demeanor, still made it clear that “they were from the government”, as if that magical incantation somehow justified their intrusion onto my private property or their theft of my precious time away from work. Both of them struck me as being of the “middle-aged-males-with-graduate-degrees-in-humanities-who've never-worked-in-the-private sector” demographic who probably took the job only because local government budget cuts had forced them out of their sinecures and they had run out of unemployment benefits. It's very likely that they would much rather have been stacking books in the local library or processing applications for driver's licenses at the local DMV than slogging on foot going door to door in a rural Arizona community where guns and suspicion of officialdom are both ubiquitous.
No matter what the circumstances of the individual census workers, it's probably a good idea for anyone who would accept federal dole money to intrude into other people's business to realize that the resentment of the federal government's power expansion, and the police state that has accompanied it are at an all-time high. Simply stated, the majority has no more faith in the federal government and does not trust anything it does. Thus people justifiably see its agents as enemies. It's quite possible that whoever killed Bill Sparkman had been the victim of the federal government's crimes in the past, whether it was through an IRS audit, a federal law enforcement agency asset forfeiture, a BATF raid, or some other crime against person or property and that the murderer had no intention of ever cooperating with anything or anyone federal ever again, especially a campaign of intrusive snooping, which is exactly what the decennial census has become. Rural Kentucky is certainly not a haven for the rich and famous, so it's very likely that the person was unable to defend themselves against Leviathan's predatory power. Had I been in such a person's shoes, my life having been turned upside down or destroyed by federal lawlessness, I too would probably have snapped at the sight of a federal agent on my property, although an act of murder would certainly not be justified under any circumstances short of a display of unwarranted force by said individual.
I am also not at all discounting the possibility that Sparkman's death was a “false flag” operation, as Lew Rockwell has hinted on the LRC Blog. Given the level of paranoia the entire federal oligarchy must be feeling as more and more of the people are resisting anything and everything it attempts to do in its lawless grab for power, its back is against the wall. As was almost surely the case with the events surrounding September 11, 2001, the feds are exploiting the growing unrest as a means of further cementing their own power. In Sparkman's case, I would not be the least bit surprised to learn that the regional census office knowingly put him in harm's way, certain that someone in rural Clay County with a healthy suspicion or hatred of strangers, especially those connected to the federal government, would exercise lethal violence against him. Government needs sacrificial lambs from among the commoners every so often to justify the solidification and expansion of its power (the victims of the Oklahoma City and 9/11 World Trade Center bombings are prominent examples), and a man like Bill Sparkman fit the bill perfectly for this purpose. He was a simple and expendable creature who wouldn't be missed by anyone of real power or importance, but who could be used as an example of the ideal statist citizen doing his duty. In other words, he was the perfect patsy, a prop for painting a scenario in which backward, in-bred, government-hating rednecks who need to brought to heel are dealt with through well-justified armed government aggression. If this is the case, I can think of no more sickeningly cynical example of manipulation than this.
So for now we'll sit back and see how Leviathan deals with the Sparkman murder. Will it result in armed census agents deploying in rural areas? (If so, they'd better come in great number, because they will more than meet their match among most of rural America.) Regardless of the outcome, we can be sure of this: in the state's desperate campaign to assert itself, this will be one more piece of ammunition in its arsenal. It's up to us to be prepared to defend against it.