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. 

David Brunori 

Vienna, VA

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. 

Mark Stamm 

Potomac, MD

Shoot First

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

Silverado, CA

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.

reason online commenter "Doctor Whom" in response to "The Symbolic Presidency" (April)

I am all for having Obama connect with the 180 million or so registered voters, one at a time. When you figure each phone call takes a minute, he won't be done for some 340 years. I call that a solved problem.

reason online commenter "Jacob the Barbarian" in response to "The Symbolic Presidency"

You seem to suggest a dichotomy, as if freedom really comes in two varieties: women's freedom and men's freedom. I would say that while there are subsets with differing and sometimes competing interests, writing about "women's freedom" makes about as much sense as writing about "women's gravity."

reason online commenter "Tim" in response to "Women vs. the State" (April)

I traveled to South and Central America in the 1980s. Chile was the only country where I never had a gun pointed at me. I did get to breathe some of Pinochet's tear gas, though.

reason online commenter "Jeffersonian" in response to "Socialist Cybernetics" (April)