Quote On The Gun Culture

I just finished re-reading John Ross’ Unintended Consequences for the third or fourth time. I came across this quote about the gun culture that really hit home.

We have a specific culture. Guns and shooting are very important to us, just like living
as nomads and hunting buffalo was important to the Indians. We are willing to work hard and have the
government confiscate half our money and use it for things we never get any benefit out of, if only we can
continue to buy our guns and our ammo and our components, and shoot a lot.

“Our culture is important, and we’re willing to pay for it. We have above -average educations, above –
average incomes, and almost nonexistent criminal involvement. We pay far more in taxes and receive
virtually no subsidy payments. You’d think Washington would be happy, but instead they are doing
everything they can to destroy our culture.

“Thomas Fleming” – attorney friend of “Henry Bowman”, p. 480

The soliloquy goes on but this is the meat of it. The only amendment that I’d make to his statement is to expand it to include more than just Washington and the Federal government. I’d add in the anti-civil rights billionaires like Bloomberg, Allen, and Gates who are protected by armed guards, the organizations they support with their wealth, and all the state and local politicians that have bought into their scheme to keep honest, hard-working citizens disarmed.

Copies of Unintended Consequences are very expensive on Amazon. While there are unauthorized PDFs of the book to be found on the Internet, I suggest contacting the publisher Accurate Press to see if they still have the paperback version available.

Shades Of Henry Bowman

If you have read the novel Unintended Consequences by John Ross, you are familiar with his protagonist Henry Bowman. The book is something of a cult classic in the gun culture. Indeed, the very term gun culture has many of its origins in this book. I believe you can still obtain copies from the Accurate Press.

One of the firearms that Henry and his father bought before the onset of the Gun Control Act of 1968 was a 20mm Solothurn S18-1000. While it is now considered a destructive device, back then you could get it through the mail. Imagine that!

Ian from Forgotten Weapons recently had the change to fire one of these anti-tank rifles at the James Julia auction house in Maine. I’ll let him continue the story of the Solothurn.

If anyone knows what has become of John Ross, I’d love to know. His old website is long gone. I do know that he left the securities industry in the late 2000s.

Couldn’t You Just Imagine John Ross As Head Of BATFE?

I saw reference to this on Facebook earlier this evening and now have found the original letter. John Ross, author of Unintended Consequences, has volunteered to be Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for a salary of $1 per year. If you are unfamiliar with the book, it is a 1996 novel of the gun culture (one of the earliest uses of that term) and the jack-booted thuggery of the BATF.

If you don’t want to pay over $100 for a used hardcover version of the book, I suggest going to the publisher who reportedly still has paperback versions of the book available. While I don’t want to suggest gypping an author out of his well-deserved royalties, you can find PDFs of the book on the Internet if you look hard enough.

Ross’ letter and an introductory letter by T. J. Mullin are posted on the Subguns.com NFA forum. I have taken the liberty of reproducing it below.

John Ross volunteers for ATF Director position

Posted By: stfram
Date: 1/2/17 05:38

Copied from conservativetreehouse.com:

January 2, 2017 at 12:26 am

Another Dollar-A-Year Man for the Trump Administration by Timothy J. Mullin and John Ross

Treepers: I’ve been urged to volunteer to be a part of the Trump Administration, and need a good place to publish these letters, that supporters can link to. I’d like that place to be CTH.

First, an introductory letter from Timothy J. Mullin, then my own to President-elect Trump.


To all Trump Administration supporters:

I suspect that most of you reading this are like me, and figure that anyone who wants to get a government job is likely one of two types: First, there are the lazy and stupid, who can’t compete in the private sector, but still want to get a high-paying job with good benefits. That’s okay, I suppose, as such people are not dangerous, just a drag on everyone else. Worse are those who want to get the job to exert power over other people, but who know that with their own skills and abilities alone, they could not do it. However, if they have the weight and power of the government at their command, they will be able to rule over others. Then, of course, there are those who are both things, the lazy & stupid who also want to control the lives of other people.

Alternatively, there are a few citizens who are willing to make sacrifices of both money and, more critically, time, to take a government position because they think it is the right thing to do. They know that they can bring insight and ability to a position that will make the country a better place–a better place not for themselves, but for others who will come after them. People like this get little value for themselves from their efforts, for they have already managed to structure their lives so that the reforms that they will encourage have little impact on them, but will benefit others.

Among this group of people who volunteer to sacrifice their own best interests, much the same as a soldier will do for the country’s best interests, is my friend, John Ross.

John has agreed to offer himself up to serve in the new Trump Administration as the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This Agency is one riddled with scandal and is certainly one of the least admirable of our existing federal agencies, considered by most as the “F Troop” of federal law enforcement.

Why, then, would anyone who has everything going for him, as John does, be willing to take on such a position? It is because he is the man for the job, and realizes that his country desperately needs his abilities and insights at this so-very-critical time.

For those who may have come in late to the subject of the BATFE and its interaction with the citizens and civil rights of our country, John Ross is the author of UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, the definitive book chronicling the gun culture of our country, and the attacks on it by our own government. This book has risen to as high as No. 7 on the Amazon hardcover sales chart, and is now in its eighth printing. It has sold an astounding number of copies, but more critically, it has achieved world-wide fame and been lauded by many readers (too many to count) as the best book they have ever read, excepting the Bible.
Not only is John Ross an accomplished author of great renown familiar with the BATFE and its many issues, he has been an active participant in the field for over 40 years, holding BATFE-issued federal licenses at a variety of levels, so he has had plenty of interaction with that Agency.

Of course, merely being the single most influential chronicler of the gun culture and holding licenses issued by the BATFE would hardly be sufficient to administer an Agency like the BATFE if he did not also have the intellect and managerial skills needed for such duties. His many articles in a variety of publications, like The American Thinker, as well as graduation from Amherst College, with BA degrees in both English and Economics, all give strong evidence of his intellectual capabilities. A successful quarter-century career managing others in the securities field, forty years and counting in Aspen real estate, and being an entrepreneur who developed and promoted a specialty handgun (the massive Smith & Wesson Ross Model 500 revolver), clear up any questions about the latter point.

Cleaning up an Agency like the BATFE, which is riddled with mismanagement, has been exposed numerous time for engaging in criminal behavior, and has a history of civil rights violations such that the honest citizenry of our country distrusts them at a level unreached by any other government agency, calls for a man like John Ross to take control and, to quote the new President, “Drain the Swamp.”

At my urging, John has written a letter to President-elect Donald Trump, following Mr. Trump’s example by offering himself as a “Dollar A Year” man. Such opportunities to get talent and skills like his are almost unheard of at the Federal level when accompanied by the correct attitude and philosophy. With his permission, I am attaching a copy of his letter offering his services.

I would encourage all who read this, and would like to see a rogue agency be brought back into the mold of an organization that can be trusted by those who applaud what our country was founded to achieve, to join me. Please contact the President-elect and ask him to take advantage of this superb opportunity for our nation.

Timothy J. Mullin is a 1973 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and has a private law practice in St. Louis, MO. He has written over a dozen books on firearms-related topics, with emphasis on their history, cultural significance, and tactical use. He has also published scores of firearms-related magazine articles, many on the legal realities of protecting oneself from an overreaching Federal Government.


From John Ross:

Dear President-Elect Trump:

It is Christmas Day as I write this, and I have been watching the things you have been doing as President-Elect with ever increasing admiration. I would like to be a “Dollar a Year Man” in your administration—that is to say, to follow your example and eschew a government salary.

The position I’d like to fill is Director of BATFE. This would dovetail well with your policy of appointing established critics of various troubled agencies (EPA, HUD, etc.) as the people to best lead them, reform them, or, in some cases, oversee their dissolution.

The experience and attitude I would bring to BATFE would focus on four areas, all consistent with your philosophy of “Make America Great Again”:
Restore an environment in which the weapons invented by America’s individual small arms designers were the best in the world, with the attendant benefit to the U.S. Military;

Nurture an environment of innovation in all disciplines regulated by BATFE;

Preserve and advance the current and historic knowledge and techniques that are slowly being lost here in America;

Increase legal commerce (and the attendant tax revenue) in ways consistent with your strong pro-business platform.

Many of these goals can be attained with policy shifts within the BATFE which I would initiate, and would not require Congress to pass new legislation.

My Credentials:

While I have never managed a group of people as large as a Federal Agency, I spent over 25 years running offices and training departments in the Securities industry. I was successful enough at these endeavors that, like you, I can afford to work for free to help put our country back on the right track so that it will be stronger and more free for our descendants.

Of equal importance is my 40-year background in firearms and explosives. These fields are unlike most segments of American commerce in that they generate tremendous passion among their participants. More than one American firearms company, looking to improve its market position, has hired a Chief Executive who was a great success at running a company that made washing machines or some other common manufactured product, only to discover that consumers don’t think the same way when buying guns as they do when shopping for appliances. The same is true for explosives, particularly in the growing fireworks industry.

Business in this industry is bigger every year, and we are currently seeing over $1 Billion in domestic annual revenues. The BATFE should be directed by someone who understands these market realities with every fiber of his being.

The fact that I have zero experience in the manufacture, importation, sale, or distribution of alcohol or tobacco products is not, as it might first seem, a negative in regards to heading this federal agency. According to the General Accounting Office, BATFE spends 76% of its annual budget on firearms-related operations, and 22% on explosives and the attendant arson investigations.

Despite having “Alcohol” and “Tobacco” in its name, only 2% of BATFE’s budget is spent on alcohol and tobacco issues. The lion’s share of that tiny budget percentage is dedicated to thwarting illicit smuggling operations involving the movement of cigarettes from Virginia, where the state excise tax is 30 cents per pack, to New York and Chicago, where state and local tax rates are $5.85 and $6.16 per pack, respectively. See this article for documentation:


These statistics clearly show that it is imperative that a BATFE Director be intimately familiar with the areas where BATFE spends 98% of its budget, namely Firearms and Explosives. Even more importantly, the new Director must be sensitive to the legal and cultural issues that exist in the interplay between the Agency he directs and the citizens with whom it interacts.

I am that person. I will bring experience to the job, and restore credibility to this tarnished Agency.

Sincerely yours,

John Ross

Life Imitating Art

I am in the process of rereading that classic of the gun culture, John Ross’ Unintended Consequences. I stumbled across this passage on page 155. It is part of the discussion that Henry Bowman, his father Walter, and the owner of Goodman’s for Guns, Al Goodman, are having concerning the requirement to get a pistol purchase permit in 1963 Missouri.

“What Mr. Goodman was telling us is that before I can buy this revolver for you, I have to go get two business owners to sign letters recommending me. Then I take them down to the sheriff and hope he says okay. Mr. Goodman says there won’t be any problem, and he’s probably right, but the whole point is that the sheriff can do whatever he wants. Just like the story about voting. Henry, we still have laws written so that the police can deny negroes, or anyone else, their ability to protect themselves, and arrest them if they carry personal protection. Or arrest me, for that matter. It depends on if they like you or not.”

After a bit of discussion about the black lady that helps Henry’s mother with housekeeping and about why handguns are good for self-defense, his father continues:

Now Walter broke in. “That’s why bigoted people passed laws about voting and guns, Henry. These bigots don’t want negroes being able to protect themselves. They didn’t want them voting for legislators that had their interests in mind, and they didn’t want them having guns in their pockets when the lynch mob was coming.” He thought a moment. “The law Al just described also gives police an excuse to stop negroes on the street and check them for guns. Actually, it gives them the excuse to do that to anyone, but they don’t do it to white, as a rule.” Yet Walter Bowman added silently to himself.

These passages made me reflect back to the debate on North Carolina’s HB 562, the pistol purchase permit system, and how only a neutered bill made it out of the House. Even though we in North Carolina will not be required to get two character references from upstanding citizens, we still have the pistol purchase permit system which was used exactly as Walter Bowman describes to prevent blacks, union organizers, and others from getting the means to protect themselves.

Today’s North Carolina sheriffs will have a harder time denying purchase permits but they will still be able to do it as the good character requirement remains. That it was the Republicans who kow-towed to the NC Sheriffs’ Association on permit system makes it even worse as the system was set up by white supremacist Democrats. They should have known better but law and order Republicans wilt like a cut flower on a hot day when police or sheriffs say boo.