John Ross (author)
John Franklin Ross (born June 17, 1957) is the author of the underground bestselling novel Unintended Consequences, author of a regular column on the Internet, and was the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in 1998 in Missouri's 2nd congressional district (he received 28.3 percent of the vote, losing to James M. Talent). He is also the grandson of Charles Ross, who was the Sixth White House Press Secretary, serving under President Harry Truman.
Unintended Consequences is a controversial novel that mixes real events with fiction. These events portray a continuing oppression of the American gun culture that, the author believes, has occurred since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934. This Act made it a federal offense to possess a machine gun, short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or silencer without first paying a $200 fee to the United States Treasury.
The cover of the book shows a woman dressed as Lady Justice being menaced by a heavily armed agent of the ATF; it contains several scenes of graphic sex and violence. The book has been repeatedly confiscated in Canada by customs officials. The publisher no longer ships copies of the book to Canada as a result.
Its thesis, as discussed in the Author's Note - A Warning and Disclaimer, is that hostile bullying by a government will cause a revolt, and the revolt will be successful if the area involved is large enough, the area has a sufficiently distinct culture, and the rebels use low-tech leaderless resistance.
Lacking any advertising or promotion in the mainstream book industry, the novel has remained a top seller on Amazon.com since it came out in 1996. Its sales largely have been either at gun shows or through online book retailers such as Amazon.com. It has sold briskly at gun shows, but is generally not sold at traditional bookstores. (As of June 2009, the price for a new copy hovers around $120 and even used ones are priced at over $50 on auction sites because the publisher is almost sold out.)
In 2000, Ross had his lawyer write a letter to the ATF claiming that their agents harassed him for writing his book, threatened vendors for selling his book and approached his "amicably separated" wife to elicit information against him. In October 2000, he had a stroke and was incapacitated for a few weeks. He has made a complete recovery and now lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where he writes, does investment consulting, schedules fee-based speaking engagements, and runs night classes for Concealed Weapons licensing.
.500 S&W Magnum Special Edition
Ross, in the tradition of Elmer Keith, has done extensive development work with large bore revolvers and rifles. He has concentrated most of his efforts on his favorite, the .500 S&W Magnum, the world's most powerful production repeating handgun. In 2007, Ross designed a version of the S&W .500 Magnum revolver so as to make it more suitable to his needs Smith & Wesson produced 500 of these special Ross edition guns. It is a pound lighter than the standard version and produces even more power due to tighter barrel/cylinder tolerances. It produces more power per pound of gun weight than any repeating handgun ever made.
Ross spent a dozen years and tens of thousands of dollars of his own money to get a Concealed Carry law passed in Missouri in 2003 (and to override the governor's subsequent veto of it), despite not personally needing the law, as he is an auxiliary police officer and firearms instructor for many Missouri departments.
John Ross was the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in 1998 in Missouri's 2nd congressional district, billing himself as a "Pre-Roosevelt Democrat," which, as he defined it, was "a Democrat without the Socialism." He lost to Republican incumbent James Talent.
In 2000, Ross appeared under his own name in the independent film Defiance, where he played the part of a gun dealer in a small western town in 1876.
Ross writes a semi-regular Internet column called "Ross In Range," where he discusses topics that interest him. A recurring theme is understanding and coping with women. His column and the continued success of his book have earned him cult status with fans around the world.
- Missouri Digital News. 1998 Election Results.
- Jeffired, James III, Letter to Honorable Bradley A. Buckles, Director, ATF. This letter is available at the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership Web site.
- Personal website
- John Ross ending one of his Concealed Carry classes with a Machine Gun demonstration