Sunday, June 20, 2010

Frightening Acts of Violence Against Census Takers

The Washington Post has published a frightening article that describes several incidents that Census takers have faced while conducting house calls. Here is a clip from the article:

Since they began making follow-up house calls in early May, census takers have encountered vitriol, menace and flashes of violence. They have been shot at with pellet guns and hit by baseball bats. They have been confronted with pickaxes, crossbows and hammers. They've had lawn mowers pushed menacingly toward them and patio tables thrown their way. They have been nibbled by ducks, bitten by pit bulls and chased by packs of snarling dogs. . . .

Sherri Chesney, 46, said she was cursed and spat at during follow-up visits in Houston. One day, she encountered a woman working in her garden. Chesney showed her census badge, she said, prompting the woman to launch into a tirade: "I don't need the blankety-blank government snooping in my business." Then she threw a metal patio table at Chesney, who escaped injury by ducking. . . .

In a rural part of California's Nevada County northeast of Sacramento, two census workers told authorities that a man ordered them off his land. He mentioned his submachine gun, then followed them down the drive with a crossbow in hand. No charges were brought against the resident, the sheriff's department said.

A homeowner in Marion, Ohio, called police, saying he had just used his baseball bat against a stranger on his property. The perceived interloper was a census taker who told police the resident flew off the handle as soon as he mentioned the word census. The census taker was struck in the forearm, warding off blows from the aluminum bat. The resident was charged with felonious assault.

Mental fitness is a terrible thing to lack.


Josh Dowlut said...

Couldn't the IRS perform the same function the census does? Certainly the IRS has a statistically significant sampling with 130 million returns, each one with dependent info. It is redundant to have one agency do what another can.

Have you seen or heard of the video showing widespread flippant attitudes towards theft at the census?

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Josh: Politics prevents efficiency.

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