The quotation at the end of the article was taken from the last portion of a handout for a talk given at an outside seminar, a talk not based on the present operation of the department. I never had the current medical examiner in mind during that presentation. It has been my habit to share my handouts with staff and residents, which explains why it was so readily available.

My impression is that improvement is in progress. The Medical Examiner Department is based on science but is also a people-service organization. Its employees have made it so. Hopefully things will smooth over and perceptions will improve as a result of a more participatory management style.

Joseph H. Davis, M.D.

Let's Stamp Out Deborah Ramey's Dangerous Ideas
I wish to comment on Ted B. Kissell's story about Deborah Ramey and her fight to have her ideas about the National Rifle Association and Marilyn Manson published in her school's PTA newsletter ("Guns Don't Kill Columns, People Do," May 20).

I say good work by the PTA.
With the U.S. Senate recently declaring the Second Amendment dead for individual citizens, and putting an end to the foolish idea that the words "the people" in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights mean anything other than a collective or governmental right to control guns and everything else in our society, it's time to do away with the equally foolish idea that the words "the people" in the First Amendment mean an individual right to free speech. How absurd.

The PTA, being an organization aligned with the government-run school system, is only exercising its collective constitutional right to suppress troublesome and irritating individual speech. Good for the PTA. As a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization, the PTA should continue to use our tax dollars to lobby government for more restrictions on our individual rights. Isn't that what we pay 50 percent of our income in taxes for?

As founder and CEO of Stamp Out the First Amendment (SOFA), I believe that the U.S. Senate has moved us closer to that glorious day when all Americans will live in a society akin to those great bastions of gun-free utopia Japan and England.

We need to become more like our Japanese and British brethren. The state should always come before the individual. You know what the Japanese say: "The nail that sticks out will be pounded down." Twice-yearly visits by the local police to our homes (without search warrants) to inquire about income sources, social interactions, our and our children's sexual activities, and all other aspects of our personal lives will make for a safer society.

Routine beatings of prisoners to extract confessions, police rewriting confessions and forcing the accused to sign them, and few if any jury trials are just some of the things we need to introduce to American society. Just think of all the time and money we will save on our judicial system. (Note that the Japanese have a 97 percent conviction rate for all crimes.)

We can copy the English practice of restricted speech and publication liability. We also need, as the British have, an American Official Secrets Act. Giving our government the power, as the British have, to censor all press and media would put a stop to subversive ideas polluting the minds of our children and causing upset in our communities.

The Senate made the right move by destroying the Second Amendment and setting the stage for abolishment of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth amendments. But they should do more. We all know that our Constitution and Bill of Rights get in the way of good law enforcement and governmental plans for us citizens.

So, tough for Ms. Ramey and her free-speech ideas and right on for the PTA. Government before the individual in all things is the only way to go to keep our children and society safe. As Rosie O'Donnell recently said to Tom Selleck, the Constitution and Bill of Rights were written for a different time. We can have muskets but not modern firearms. And so by extrapolation, our free speech was talk about King George and his mistreatment of our ancestors. He's been dead for 200 years. Obviously the First Amendment needs to go.

John Parrott

It's My Gun and I'll Fire If I Want To
Okay, so Ted B. Kissell and New Times have given Ms. Ramey a bully pulpit for her extremist gun-control views. How about some balance in reporting? Or does the word balance still exist in the liberal lexicon? (Excuse me, I meant to say progressive. Or do you guys still call yourselves liberal?) It would be nice, not to mention fair, to have New Times offer a diversity of opinions in its reporting. But I'm not holding my breath. I suspect that the reportorial and editorial ranks at New Times march in ideological lock step. Leftward ho!

We on the right try to be consistent about our concerns: promotion of the nuclear family; demanding a right to keep more than the 60 percent of our income we presently enjoy after taxes; smaller, more responsive government closer to the people; a rejection of the liberal elitism that has a stranglehold on academe, government, and information sources (thank God for Matt Drudge); a return to individual accountability and responsibility; and a repudiation of the womb-to-tomb welfare-state enslavement.

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