Murder of census agent disturbing

How odd that a single murder in Manchester, Ky., a rural town you’ve probably never heard of, would cause a second thought.’

This may seem callous to some, but in our daily news cycle we watch reports about dozens of murders in the world each day. The murder of Bill Sparkman is different; it seems Sparkman’s death may not have resulted from a robbery or gang violence, but simply because he was involved in a particular government agency: the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sparkman was a teacher, part-time census agent and cancer survivor. His 19-year-old son was devastated to learn of his death. Bound and gagged, Sparkman was found hanged from a tree with the word ‘fed’ written on his chest.

‘Fed’- the connotation of which implies that, by simply assisting the government in a population count, the victim was in some way a tyrannical bureaucrat – shines a light on the grotesque face of one of this country’s fears; the lone madman who twists the freedoms granted by the Constitution into an excuse to take innocent life.

Our founders believed that all men have a ‘right of revolution’ if the social contract that binds citizens to the state is infringed upon in the form of loss of liberty. This concept, which originated with John Locke, was a cornerstone of the revolutionary movement of the 1770s and is still alive today, but it can be used to calamitous and shameful results when sick individuals commandeer it.

Were we to lose our freedom of speech, religion or assembly, Americans would have the right to revolt, but there are limits to every right, and to execute a census worker is deplorable. Liberty without restraint is anarchy, while overbearing security is tyranny. Sparkman’s killer clearly lost his restraint, along with his sanity, a long time ago.

Another concerning aspect is that an over-exuberant government could use this sort of act as an excuse to stifle liberties in general. Already, leftist big-government types are targeting conservative voices with threats like the Fairness Doctrine, localism and net neutrality. The last thing the freedoms of press and speech can afford is a sick individual using the perceived erosion of those or any other of our rights as an excuse to commit horrible crimes against innocent government employees ‘- an action that could transform perceived losses of liberties into actual losses.

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