My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Shots fired at Census Bureau employee

Thanks to for the following story. Sadly, MyTwoCensus has long predicted that anti-federal government sentiment would result in crazy individuals shooting Census Bureau employees simply trying to do their jobs. This is partially because rabble-rousers like CNN and talk radio’s Eric Erickson told people that he would shoot any census worker who tried to come to his door. I called for Mr. Erickson to be fired months ago, but perhaps it won’t actually happen until someone dies. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in Saturday’s incident:

Leander attorney accused of shooting at Census worker

By Miguel Liscano | Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 12:46 PM

Williamson County sheriff’s officials have charged a Leander attorney with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after they say she fired five shots at a U.S. Census Bureau worker on Saturday, court records show.

Carolyn M. Barnes, 53, could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the felony. She was being held in the Williamson County Jail this afternoon with bail set at $50,000.

According to the affidavit, the Census Bureau employee told officials that Barnes pointed a handgun at her when she showed up at Barnes’s home, in the 400 block of Indian Trail in Leander, to collect information.

As the woman tried to get away, Barnes fired the weapon, the document says. It is unclear if she was injured.

Records show Barnes has not hired an attorney. The voice mailbox at her home and law office said they were full.

Barnes was previously arrested Jan. 8 in Austin after officials said she struck a Travis County deputy at the Sweatt Travis County Courthouse.

She was charged with assaulting a public servant, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years behind bars. Those charges are still pending, court records show.

According to an arrest affidavit, when Barnes entered the courthouse at 1000 Guadalupe St. and went through a security screening, deputies found a small knife.

They asked her to return the knife to her car, but she refused, the affidavit said. The document said she struck the officer after she took out her cell phone and the deputy asked her to take the call outside.

Tags: CNN, , Eric Ericson, , , , , masses, NRA, , protesters, right-wing, Rush Limbaugh, shoot, , statesman,, talk radio, , Travis County, , , Williamson County

7 Responses to “Shots fired at Census Bureau employee”

  1. PM Says:

    Maybe she’s afraid of something like this happening to her:,0,655773.story.

    Though I don’t know why they’d say “volunteer”. Excepting community organizing types who get their constituents involved with Census familiarization (we even give out coloring books to them), Census can’t take volunteer workers to do its own business (those folks don’t work for the census, only organize/spread the good word). Maybe he bought a bag and badge on ebay for his “census” work?

  2. Jax Enumerator Says:

    Yeah, but you can’t just shoot somebody. I read in another article that this female person might end up being charged with aggravated assault on a public servant, which carries a max sentence of life in prison and is a first degree felony. As of now she only faces a second degree felony. She could also face federal charges.

  3. My Two Census » Blog Archive » Census worker takes a stand Says:

    [...] heard about Census workers running into trouble on the job – shotgun trouble, perhaps – but it’s refreshing to hear news about someone who realized he has the law on his [...]

  4. My Two Census » Blog Archive » A Yuba City, CA woman was shot and killed after a Census visit Says:

    [...] was shot. It’s sad that an irrational fear of Census takers seems to have fueled gun threats yet again, and it’s even sadder that it had to result in the loss of a life this time. From [...]

  5. A.B Says:

    I bet she was having a terrible day and this had nothing to do with the census. I would like to hear the whole story, not just one side.

  6. Diane Says:

    AB “I bet she was having a terrible day and this had nothing to do with the census. I would like to hear the whole story, not just one side.”

    “Having a terrible day?”! Is that how you normally think of attempted murder, or do you save the “both sides of the story” argument for attorneys who fire on government employees?

    I was a census worker. A few people badgered me because they’d had a bad day. But no one SHOT at me. Of course, if it had been a TERRIBLE day, then, according to you, that would be acceptable.

    Do YOU fire weapons at people when you have a really terrible day? People who are doing nothing but their jobs?

  7. Diane Says:

    PM: You wrote (in part)
    “Census can’t take volunteer workers to do its own business (those folks don’t work for the census, only organize/spread the good word).”

    Your sentence is grammatically incorrect, but I think you’re attempting to insult people who tell other people the census is a legal, Constitutional, normal part of American history. That this year’s questionnaire has the same number of questions as the first census did, created under the direction of then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson.

    Volunteers (I’ll take your word for it that they exist) don’t organize. I realize that real ultra-conservative, Obama-hating, right-wing, true Americans have to use “organize” often, lest they be seen as soft on Obama!

    Congratulations. You sounded just like an idiot.