A Sad Day

John Ross

I read on WRSA today that John Ross had passed away on April 15th. I remember when Bubba McDowell of WhatBubbaKnows.net loaned me his copy of Unintended Consequences in 2009. My first thought was how much time it would take to read this tome. As I started reading this historical faction, I did not believe the history that Mr. Ross was presenting. The Bonus Army, US v Miller and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising were all researched outside of the book.

Years later, I finally bought a reprinted copy of my own which was stolen at my office. Years later, my wife gave me another copy with a stern admonition to guard it so it would not be stolen. It is kept separately from our community center library.

I have read Unintended Consequences four times and it is highly recommended. The best tale concerning this book also taught me a valuable lesson. When I was travelling across North Carolina helping to coordinate 912 and Tea Party groups, I met a lot of people. Most were good but some were not. I remember being introduced to another couple and told that we had a lot in common. The person then left the room and the other couple, my wife and me were staring at each other. I broke the ice by saying that this was quite a situation since we did not know anything about each other so there was no basis upon which to build even a beginning foundation of trust. We engaged in some idle chatter to pass enough time until we could both depart. But something strange happened when it came out that I had read Unintended Consequences. The other couple was surprised and that simple commonality allowed the beginning of a low level of trust.

To this day, when I meet new people, I try to see what books have impacted their lives. Based on their replies, I can tell their level of engagement and commitment to our Liberty. It is rare today to find someone who has read the 5000 Year Leap, Unintended Consequences and Atlas Shrugged.

Unintended Consequences (novel) - Wikipedia
Unintended Consequences

If you have read the book, you know what Henry Bowman would do. I used to wonder who was on John Ross’s list. While we may never know, I am sure his choices would have fed a large number of hogs.

David DeGerolamo

      
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Mohawk Mafia
Mohawk Mafia
9 months ago

Man it seems lately that those who I’ve looked to for Guidance in life,and the movement are leaving to his planet every day.I did not know this man but I hope he rests in Peace,and My Condolences to the family.

Chris
Chris
9 months ago

I own a original printing.
Without fail, I read it Once a year.
Got my kids too read it also.,
Excellence in Print

Brewer55
Brewer55
9 months ago

I’m going to copy and paste more info on John Ross from a Facebook post.

I just found out through the Indiana Gun Forums grooup that my friend John Ross died last week, an apparent heart attack.

Of course John is best known for his brilliant novel, UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, that in so many way predicted the world we’re now living in. He told me recently that he was almost finished with the “sequel,” COLD RESOLVE, but the rapidly changing pace of current events had caused him to wait to complete his ending…because more than anything else, he wanted COLD RESOLVE to be real, connect to the Real World. My understanding as of now is that the book will be published, but that is not confirmed.

I am privileged to have spent time shooting with John in his private quarry. He introduced me to the Stechkin machine pistol and a host of guns that would be familiar to anyone who has read UC. He had turned a bunch of brass for his magnificent Rodda & Co., but he hadn’t completely finished the brass and the rims were to thick, so it remained quiet that day. The heavily engraved Rodda & Co. that figured so prominently in UC was auctioned by Rock Island in 2019 for $126,500.

Together we did an outrageous episode of SHOOTING GALLERY. “There’s no way this is getting on television,” John said during the interview in his gun room. Trust me, brother, I answered. I believe that episode is now lost to whatever hell old television shows are consigned.

John was maybe the biggest proponents of the .500 S&W Magnum, and to a large extent that rubbed off on me. He was a proponent of super-heavy bullets in the .500…shooting his was like shooting huge lead softballs, and he indeed for years had a .500 S&W as his EDC. His love for the big pistol cartridge came from his growing up on the .44 Magnum, as did his protagonist in UC, Henry Bowman. Much of John’s work on the .500 is still available online. Here’s his primary piece:

https://lsstuff.com/misc/JR500.pdf

In 2007 John worked with the S&W Performance Center on his ideal .500 S&W Magnum. The gun was a radical departure from S&W’s vision for the big X-Frame. For a start it was a 5-inch barrel with a half-lug, which John said made the big gun look like a revolver rather than a crew-served weapon. It also had a 1-in-10 twist barrel to stabilize the heavy bullets John loved. He also did away with the compensatorm, which he swore to me made the big gun easier to shoot. Well…

I love mine, carpel tunnel syndrome-inducing beast that it is. It is a masterful rethinking of the big gun

Here’s Leroy Thompson’s original review:

https://gunblast.com/LT_SW-JohnRoss500.htm

This review of UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES from 1998 I think capture’s why the book was so important:

https://fee.org/articles/unintended-consequences-by-john-ross/

White John had a spectacular life of flying acrobatic airplanes and his very successful “day job” as a financial planner, he was a “gun guy” to the core. Much of Henry Bowman in UC is, in fact, John Ross. I would like to put UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES in context, if I can. John was a very good writer with his share of quirks (and God help us all, that sentence could apply to every writer I know, including me). Those quirks didn’t work to his advantage in UC.

However, I believe that what John did helped coalesce the gun culture at a time when it was shifting from what Paul Ergardt and I called Gun Culture Ver. 1.0 to Gun Culture Ver. 2.0, where we are today. When UC came out in 1996, it did something no other book had done. It chronicled our history, touched on some of our seminal events in the history of what would become the American gun culture. It helped our culture see itself as part of a long and honorable continuum at a time when the wholesale demonization of gun owners, shooters, hunters was in full-swing.

 In short, we were the good guys for a change. And John did a good job of framing every single “gun control,” “gun safety” law for what they really were — and are — about “control,” never “guns.”

Whether John descended into violence porn in UC I’ll leave to other to debate. But to me, the key to the success of UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES falls within those passages at a dinner 

“These government slugs ban our guns and they ban our magazines and they ban our ammo. They ban suppressors that make our guns quieter and then they ban our outdoor shooting ranges because our guns are too loud. They ban steel-core ammunition because it’s ‘armor piercing’, then they close down our indoor ranges where people shoot lead-core bullets because they say we might get lead poisoning.

“The people in the gun culture have a better safety record than any police department in the nation, but in several states actually prohibit us from using guns for self-protection, and in all the other states except one they make us buy a license. They tax us so we can have more cops, and when crime still goes up, they tax us more and ban more of our guns.

“People in the gun culture endure waiting periods that no other group would stand for. We undergo background checks that no legislator, judge, doctor, or police officer has to tolerate, and we submit to it not once, or once a year, but over and over again. Then, after we yield to this outrage, they smile and forbid us from buying more than one gun in a 30-day period.

“If we sell one gun we own that’s gone up in value, they can charge us with dealing in firearms without a federal dealer’s license, which is a felony. If we get a dealer’s license, they say we are not really in business, and report us to our local authorities for violating zoning ordinances by running a commercial venture out of a residence.

“If the steel or the wood on our guns is too long or too short, they make us pay $200 taxes and get fingerprinted and photographed. They make us get a law enforcement certification from the local police chief. If he refuses to sign we have no recourse. If he takes the forms in the next room and brings them back out, signed, he can later claim the signature is not his, and the feds will charge us with the felony…”

I was passing through St. Louis a coupke of years back and decided to call John and see what was up. “hey,” he said, “let’s go get a good steak, some of that adult beverage stuff and tell each other bullshit.”

So we did, and it was a great and memorable evening.

Go with God, brother, although I wonder if they’ll let you through the Pearly Gates with that big-ass blaster on your hip…

MMinWA
MMinWA
9 months ago
Reply to  Brewer55

That’s pretty cool dude.
I’ve read UC at least 5 or 6 time over the years. The gun knowledge is simply amazing.
I look forward to the sequel.

Lawnmore
Lawnmore
9 months ago

It looks like I will have to read the 5000 year leap.
Years ago I had a poster of unintended consequences made and hung it on the in side of the front door of my business.
Over a ten year period, no one commented, oh well. I gave my copy to my son, he never read it, oh well.
I retired early and did a John Galt ten years ago, I never regretted it!

robert orians
robert orians
9 months ago

I found two copies of Unintended Consequences on Ebay from a couple of the Goodwill like book sellers for $2.99 with free shipping . Paperback but both in good condition.

GenEarly
GenEarly
9 months ago

Here today, Gone tomorrow. Lifetimes are short, Eternity is not, The Game goes on and on…..

craig dudley
9 months ago

only read it twice so far but do own my own copy. wish i’d found the ebay source as i paid forty for mine. its most excellent. heard that after it was published he got some visits from some men in black. such is life here in the land of the free and constitutionally protected free speech/publishing and so on.

Hal P
Hal P
9 months ago

Long past time to feed the hogs.

Zorost
Zorost
9 months ago

So he wrote a book about how our problems will be solved by people killing feds. Then he dies, without having killed any feds. Presumably he had health issues which let him know he didn’t have much to lose, yet he still chose not to follow the plan in his book.
Perhaps it’s time for you all to stop believing someone else is going to come to your rescue. Get involved with local and state politics, build local and state networks. Stop fantasizing about violence you never intend to bring about.
Just stop it. We are long past the time where you can safely fantasize that you’ll go Rambo if tyranny arrives. Because guess what? It arrived some time ago, it’s obvious to many, yet here you all are still beating your chests in the hopes that your gorilla display will push someone else to act.

Thomas Hanna
Thomas Hanna
9 months ago
Reply to  Zorost

You ought to read Jack Hinson’s One-Man War: a civil war sniper by Tom C McKenney.

Bear Claw Chris Lapp
Bear Claw Chris Lapp
9 months ago

I am at a loss. I have brought a few people into the Henry Bowman world. The responses were all the same as I had after reading.

I pray for his family and all involved.

mosaicwolf
mosaicwolf
9 months ago

I bought a hard back copy many years ago and I have read it at least 4 times. It is one of those rare books that you can’t put down once you start reading. Fantastic story and full of good information. Everybody that considers him/herself part of the gun culture should read this book. May John Ross RIP.

Thomas Hanna
Thomas Hanna
9 months ago

From reading it, I could never tell if JR read the Bible. If he did, I could imagine him understanding it way better than most.