reason magazine seems surprised when the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) work together as they did in the Messerschmidt case (“NRACLU?,” April). There is a notion that members of the ACLU are Manhattan elitists who think gun right advocates are ignorant rednecks, and vice versa. I am a member of both organizations and believe they deserve the support of everyone who believes in limited government.
Americans face challenges to individual liberty every day. There are not many membership organizations besides the NRA and ACLU providing that help. Maybe they should be working together more often.
Red Tape Rising
The $40 billion estimate for the economic cost of new Obama-era regulations (“Red Tape Rising,” April) seems very low. In my business, mortgage lending, new regulation (and old) consumes us. Compliance is always the first consideration in any idea or transaction, and economic results are far less important. If regulation doesn’t stifle innovation, fear of capricious regulators does.
Sgt. Danny Barnes’ letter to the editor (April) criticizes a part of Mike Riggs’ Citing (“Shoot First,” January). Barnes ends his letter by writing, “I depend on reason to keep all branches of government, including law enforcement, accountable.” So far, so good. But then he adds: “That can be done without painting the profession with a broad brush.” Actually, in a country which now is replete with “laws” that are tyrannical, arbitrary, and unjust, the police force may well be considered complicit and corrupt. The excuse, “Well we are just doing our duty,” will not wash. The duties have gotten quite perverted. Once the system is as corrupted as ours, the only way to keep clean is by resigning from the force.
Tibor R. Machan
Machan is a former editor in chief of reason.
This sounds like one of those cheesy space operas in which a galactic emperor with trillions of subjects somehow manages to micromanage their lives directly. Unfortunately for Obama, those don’t make very good instruction manuals for government on this planet.