Skip to comments."UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES" BY JOHN ROSS
Posted on 05/10/2005 11:28:04 AM PDT by Jerrybob
I kept bumping into people referencing Unintended Consequences by John Ross. It sounded impressive so I decided I should read it. It is impressive and massive 860 pages, and a novel.
The main character is Henry Bowman and the book follows him from youngster to present day.
The theme of the book is the gun culture in America. It outlines the US Governments relentless and irrational war against the gun culture in general and the private ownership of firearms in particular in this country, for most of the 20th century.
It was impossible to read this book and fail to see the premise that the US Governments actions toward gun owners and the gun culture have been an irrational and relentless war.
Without giving anything away, below are the words of Henry Bowman:
Youd think the government would leave me alone, but instead they pick the one thing I really like to do, something thats a fundamental right supposedly secured by the Constitution, and they do everything they can to take that away from me.
You know all those hours Ive spent developing my shooting skills? All the money Ive spent on ammunition, and club memberships, and on my private range here, and all the time Ive spent training other people to protect themselves, including lots of women and police departments, always for free? I think the government should say, Hey, Henry Bowman, good job! We want people to be skilled and safe with guns; we want them to be able to protect themselves from harm; we want everyone to be self-reliant. We wish we had more people like you, with good gun skills and a lifetime of experience to pass along to others. Keep up the good work!
Instead, they have treated me and others like me with utter contempt. They have confiscated our property and put people like me in maximum-security prisons over ownership of fender washers, claiming they were unassembled silencer parts; over pieces of muffler tubing. They have shot a mans wife in the head because his guns butt-stock was too short; they beat another mans pregnant wife until she miscarried, over a gun collection on which the guy had done all the stupid paperwork things the ATF wanted, but the feds temporarily lost the records. They burned ninety people alive over a disputed two hundred dollar tax.
If you believe you have the right to buy, own and shoot small arms in a safe manner, as much and as often as you want, and you exercise that right regularly, our government will brand you as the enemy; they will pursue you more relentlessly and attack you more severely than they do the people who pick up teenage runaways in the bus station and torture them to death on camera for black-market snuff films.
These thugs are zeroing in on the most important thing in my life: being able to exercise my right to buy guns and shoot them is more valuable to me than all the millions of dollars of mine theyve taken [in taxes]. The federal and state governments are doing everything in their power to take away my most important right, and they are doing this every single day.
Below are the words of Tom Fleming, Henrys friend:
Every single one of us believes that as honest adult citizens, we have the absolute right to own any and all small arms and shoot them just as often as we want. We have a specific culture; guns and shooting are important to us, just like living as nomads and hunting buffalo were important to Native Americans.
Our gun culture is important to us and were willing to pay for it. We have above-average educations and incomes; and criminal involvement is almost non-existent. Youd think those in Washington would be happy, but instead they are doing everything they can do destroy our culture.
In the 1920s, soldiers sat on their bunks in the cold at Camp Perry, cleaning the handmade .22 target rifles with which they would compete the following day. Then our President announces that, today, seventy years later, he is ordering these guns thrown into a blast furnace; we in the gun culture feel powerful emotions. They are the same emotions a Native American would feel if the President ordered the destruction of their war clubs and other sacred tribal artifacts; they are the same emotions that Jews felt watching newsreel footage of Nazi Storm Troopers burning copies of their Torah.
We offer to buy the governments surplus guns, and instead they pay to have them cut up; we offer to buy their surplus military ammo, shoot it, sell the brass to a smelter, and give the government the proceeds, and instead they pay to have it burned.
They 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 its armor piercing, then they close down our indoor ranges where people shoot lead-core bullets because they say we might get lead poisoning.
The members of the gun culture have a better safety record than any police department in the nation, but several states actually prohibit us from using guns for self-protection, and in every other state but one they make us buy a license. They tax us so we can have more police on the streets, 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 tolerate. 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.
now read travis's book
It was my understanding that Mr. Ross has a second novel in the works.
IMHO, the left is motivated on the gun issue the same as abortion: I don't think they really care about babies OR guns, but having the power to take them from people, mostly people who don't share their political views, is what it's all about. It's like the commandant in "Shindler's List" who killed Jews with a scoped rifle from his window-he just did it because he could, with no other reason whatsoever. They know if they can take our guns, our religion and even our babies and elderly, then they have won an absolute, unconditional victory. This is why every battle, regardless of its seeming importance, must be fought and won. This is the liberal jihad.
The book was first published in 1996. The reviews on Amazon are almost all 5 out of 5 stars with comments such as "Buy it, whatever the cost", "It Changed My Thinking", "A life-changing book", and "Excellent from end to end."
I've given two copies of this excellent tome away, over the years. It is a "must read", IMO. A fiction with FANTASTIC FACTS, HISTORY all woven into readable form. Once begun, you cannot put the book down. The history of this country also comes into play -- and all woven and centered around the right to self-governance and self-defense. Freedom. Liberty.
If you are a shooter .... then read the first TWO PAGES of Part One and I guarantee that you will read the next 850 pages.
It's THAT good.
bump to top.
Note: the first two pages covers Ad Topperwein and tells where the term "Plinkin'" comes from.
Ad Topperwein was without doubt, the greatest marksman of his time and, in all probability, the best trick shot gunman the world has ever known. The son of a Texas frontier gunsmith, Ad was born in 1869 in Boerne and lived most of his life in San Antonio.
Topperwein set 14 world records during the 36 years he toured the nation with his .22 caliber rifle. He became famous for a marathon exhibition held in December 1907 at the Old San Antonio Exposition and Fair Grounds. It was a feat that has never been equaled.
Using three .22 caliber rifles, Topperwein shot seven hours a day for ten consecutive days at 72,500 2 1/4" diameter wooden blocks, each pitched to a height of 25 to 30 feet from a distance of 25 feet. Not knowing how many blocks he would need for the occasion, Ad had only 60,000 blocks made, so his last 22,500 shots were at pieces of the original blocks! In ten days of shooting, he missed just NINE times.
Topperwein retired from shooting performances in 1945, but did not give up shooting until he was in his eighties. He died at his home in San Antonio on March 4, 1962 at the age of 92. He is also a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
If you are an occasional shooter, you will read the first 300, more or less skim the next 500 while forcing yourself to read the boring parts, then read the last 50 you have been waiting for since the beginning of the book.
The book is like Atlas Shrugged. Earth-shaking ideas, good speeches, and shallow characters shoehorned into a clumsy novel with an ending that wouldn't ever happen in reality. I think the book is a must read, and the ideas are what makes the book great.
MUCH too long, I agree, and in some parts, quite "racy". In fact,I think he could have done it much better without the graphic sex scenes, but then again, it is his book.
I excerpted the part of John's book that deals with Vince Foster's death and posted the excerpt on the Whitewater newsgroup. Mr Ross sent me a nastygram shortly thereafter. I hope you don't hear from him.
I would think Mr. Ross would be happy to see people talking about his book. But then that's just me.
It's a great book. I have it.
I highly recommend John's CCW class
Three of us attended one of John's Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) classes, and a subsequent trip to his shooting range. The class was 4 hours of instruction toward receiving a Missouri (or any honoring state CCW), plus about 6 hours at the range.
John has an amazing assortment of guns and will let you shoot any of them (yes, even the automatics). He allows about 60 shots on the handguns (he sees that you qualify on the CCW target), then asks that you pay for the ammo on the automatics. And I'm talking Thompson, Uzi, M16, BAR-50, Glock full auto pistol (the actual name escapes me) and more
If you haven't shot before- even if you have- his course is an excellent value.
Get this: Four hours classroom, 6 hours on the range (including lunch!) is $100
That's a steal, IMHO