Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Unintended Consequences

Written By: Bob - May• 12•13

Back in January, a reader sent me a copy of Unintended Consequences by novelist and expert shooter John Ross. When I say “expert shooter,” I feel compelled to note Ross shoots at least 20,000 rounds a year in calibers starting with 4s and 5s in both rifles and pistols. He’s enough of an expert that Smith & Wesson’s Performance Center even released a special John Ross Edition of their 5-shot .500 S&W Magnum.

The book itself a novel about people pushed too far by an overbearing and corrupt government. The protagonist ends up striking back, triggering a low-grade and highly focused civil war (there’s a Wikipedia plot summary that is accurate enough, if you want to read it). Though the book has been out since 1996, I’d not heard of it until I’d written What you’ll see in the rebellion and Shock the system and readers saw parallels to what I was seeing, and made the suggestion to read the book.

17 years after its first printing, Unintended Consequences seems terrifyingly prescient at times. You’d swear certain political figures in the book were the most thinly-veiled references to real politicians you’ve ever read. For example, a Senator that I thought Ross had pegged in his novel, wasn’t elected until two years afters the book was published.

I’d highly suggest you find a way to buy, beg, or borrow a copy of this very difficult to acquire book.

As the Ross notes in his Author’s Note, “Stripping motivated people of their dignity and rubbing their noses in it is a very bad idea.”

That is a mistake that Washington and it’s allies seem doomed to repeat.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Greg B says:

    I just finished reading “Unintended Consequenses” last weekend.
    I absolutely could not put it down.
    I know it is out of print, but downloadable PDF copies are floating around out there.

    Even though I have read it, I WILL purchase if it ever is republished.
    This is a book that everyone needs to read.

  2. B says:

    I don’t understand why they don’t re-print it.

    People are reading it and copies are going for big buck. I’d bet that the downloaded copies exceeds the printed copies by a factor of 10. Ross and his publisher are losing money by not having print copies available for sale.

  3. lineman says:

    If anyone would like to read it and be willing pay for shipping I would be glad to lend it to them…

  4. John Bernard Books says:

    Don’t forget to check your local library. For some strange reason my left leaning local library has a copy.


    • Michael says:

      “my left leaning local library”

      “Left-leaning libraries”
      “Left-leaning educators”
      “Left-leaning Hollyweird establishment”
      “Left-leaning media”

      Left-leaning reality, maybe? Left-leaning mainstream, except for holdouts and outriders like you?

      • Chuck says:

        Yeah, we’re just dinosaurs, relics, bitter clingers who actually believe the Constitution means what it says instead of whatever you can twist it to mean in order to justify denying free men their God-given rights, slaughtering unborn children, punitive levels of taxation (theft), targeting your political enemies with organs of the state (IRS), etc., etc., ad nauseum.

        It would do well to remember that towards the end of the Revolution, there were more Americans fighting for the King than against him. We still won, and those traitors who weren’t killed in battle, imprisoned, hung or tarred and feathered were run off to Canada or back to jolly old England.

        You may be anonymous here, traitor, but you reap what you sow.

      • Right_2_Bear says:

        The left owns the communications – libraries, education, Hollywood, media – but that doesn’t mean the ideology is mainstream.

  5. David says:

    Bob I am glad you read the book and thanks for this post for the world to see. Its a great book. ANY and ALL people in the Gun Culture as John puts it should read this book and pass it along to a friend. I wish John would write a sequel.

  6. Steve says: claims to be gearing up for a soft cover edition.

    All the crap John went through, after UC was first published, I can’t really blame him for NOT publishing another, even though, in the past John has claimed to have a second novel “almost complete.”

    John has a site, but there doesn’t seem to be much activity on it.

  7. Jeff says:

    I love it, I was looking to get another copy to loan out awhile back but it seems that I got mine right before they ran out and people started charging $200+ for them used on amazon… He is insane to not do another run.

  8. RockHard says:

    John Ross is selling them Hardcover at:

    for $60. Amazon & Ebay prices are nuts.

  9. I bought the book when it first came out. I have wondered why it was never reprinted. PDF copies can be downloaded free at Get it while it’s still available.

  10. Chris Watson says:

    I have had the book since it was published but the start of the book is quite ponderous; it reads like ‘The history of guns and gun culture in America 1700-1990’ before it ever gets to the actual story.

    It’s a good read once it gets going but it’s molasses until then…

  11. Bubba Jones says:

    The above link didn’t work, but I did find it here….

  12. Mt Top Patriot says:

    Ya, that quote right there,

    “Stripping motivated people of their dignity and rubbing their noses in it is a very bad idea.”

    Reminds me some things remain timeless:

    “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them, and these will continue till they have been resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress.”

    I think Frederick Douglas said that.
    He would know.

    This fellow knew too:
    “You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power – he’s free again.”

    – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    …and this guy too:
    “The social contract exists so that everyone doesn’t have to squat in the dust holding a spear to protect his woman and his meat all day every day. It does not exist so that the government can take your spear, your meat, and your woman because it knows better what to do with them.” Seen on Facebook, October 22, 2011

    We do not “belong” to a government, nor does our fruits and labors, nor our property, nor the essence of our happiness and security, nor our beliefs, nor our faiths and adherence to them. As one American recently put it so well, and I can’t remember who, but it is worthy:

    “We do not belong to the government. Just as we once did not belong to King George III of Great Britain, for Americans are not subjects of monarchs, parliaments, congresses, Presidents, Governors, Mayors, Kings, Queens, county assessors, judges,…the who lot of them.”

    I believe at the heart of it all is the simple truth for every believer in Liberty must grasp this truth, our sovereignty and our sovereign lawful will exists ultimately through the barrel of our guns. (is it not why our founders sanctioned this primal right as an act of rule of law to begin with?) Our principles of defending our Liberty to begin with is if the Liberty to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our property, is prohibited, if peaceful redress is prohibited, then violent redress becomes a matter of fact, and the very question of our survival as free men becomes the question of the day.
    It is through the power of our arms that our politics becomes the legitimate form of Liberty.

    “Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible.[2] Totalitarian regimes stay in political power through an all-encompassing propaganda campaign, which is disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that is often marked by political repression, personality cultism, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of speech, mass surveillance, and widespread use of terror.”

    So, we got a nasty little radical chic commie loving Islamist usurper in that big white house, he says:

    “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

    Got to ask, what are you afraid of you cold blooded murdering Marxist psychopath?

    Remember, Hitler said it best:
    “It is convenient to have a system of laws where everyone is a criminal.”

    As one who came over from the dark side can tell you:

    “Tyrants have no problem dealing with people who are willing to die for their principles. They will happily kill them to achieve their goals. Where they fail is with the people who are not only willing to die for their principles but are willing to kill tyrants in righteous self defense of those principles, and their property, liberty and lives.” — Mike Vanderboegh

    From WRSA blog:

    The fundamental human right to self-defense and its tools does not stem from any piece of parchment or other act of man.

    It is much more elemental than that.

    I have more principled reasons for my stand on owning firearms, and I don’t care one whit in the world for the Second Amendment. It means nothing to me. My rights have nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution, and when it dawns on people that it has finally been erased — the principal danger of all political premises posed as “social contracts” — my rights will still validly exist, even if I die defending them. I own firearms because I have a right to private property. That is the First Thing.

    …As the Regime takes off the gloves, every day it creates tens of thousands more American Patriots who realize yes, it really probably is going to get that bad, so really, they may not have that much to lose after all.

    So why not stop being afraid and stand up to the Regime?

    Join the honorable Resistance, or make your own. Garden, cook at home, teach your children, and get right with the Lord. Cut expenses, avoid taxes, learn new skills, and build savings of tangible real assets. Train, stockpile, recruit, prepare, guard, protect, and defend.

    Make this your finest hour.



    Live Hard, Die free

    Lets Win!

  13. The book is good, but too discursive and too long. Ross over-indulged his love of weapons, the technical details about them, and various aspects of the “gun culture” in the construction. The exciting part — the flowering of the mini-rebellion against the federal government — begins rather late in the novel.

    That having been said, if you’re at all interested in firearms, you’ll find it to your taste. If you yearn for stories whose heroes are champions of freedom, you’ll love it.

    • Right_2_Bear says:

      The author knows guns and the gun culture so that was his vehicle. But the book is not really about guns and the culture. It is about overreaching government that has weeded its way into every part of our lives.

  14. Right_2_Bear says:

    A bit slow the first half, but it’s a great read nonetheless. It is available in PDF online for download. (I don’t know if it is official or not).

    What is great about the book is that it is not just an entertaining story but is educational also. Through story telling it describes how easily government corrupted by unbridled power can destroy innocent citizens lives for the most absurd and petty of offenses. (IRS and Tea Party anyone?)

    A highly recommended read.

  15. Chuck_Wake_Co. says:

    A friend loaned me his hardbound copy maybe 10 years ago. If you can find a copy (i.e., Amazon) it might run you $200 plus. To my knowledge, there was never a softbound or paperback.

    As others have noted, pdf copies are available via the interweb. I reckon those are unauthorized and probably rip off John Ross of his just compensation.

    Fiction aside, the book presents serious indictments of BATF, NFA(34), and the FBI debacle in Waco.

    Buy, beg, borrow, or steal a copy of Unintended Consequences – it’s an absolute must-read.

  16. jack says:

    I read it about 6 months ago. I didn’t find that it dragged at all. Even the beginning, as it laid the groundwork for the rest of the novel, had real meaning for me. The factual history of the gun control movement, woven into the story, the court rulings based on false premises were quite eye opening. It read like an historic novel. I found the book so enthralling I could not put it down. Although a long read, I enjoyed it immensely. I thought John Ross was going to re-publish it, but maybe those plans have fallen by the wayside.

  17. Sulaco says:

    Ya that last PDF website does not work either…

  18. garfish says:

    Ross suffered a lot of bad attention from the ATF after he published this book under the Clinton administration. They really gave him a bad time.

  19. Bob (Not that Bob) says:

    When UC first came out, it was danged near impossible to find a copy, and it seemed to stay that way. Then the PDFs started to appear on the gun boards, then everywhere else we frequented. It was a gentleman’s agreement that everyone downloading a copy would send Mr. Ross some compensation for that. The book sold for 20 bucks, I think.

    In reality, I’m not sure how many actually followed through by sending even $5, but I’d suggest you send something.

    Even if you’re 17 years late. ;)

    To anyone who thought the first parts of the book were slow, you didn’t appreciate how fascinating the history and stagesetting were. Killing the subhumans was just icing on an already incredible cake. :D

  20. karl says:

    Holy Cow, Bob! I would have bet good money you had read this long ago.

    It is tied with Atlas Shrugged as my all time favorite. Both books have incredible dialogue for the first 2/3’s, then switch into a more fiction-type story.

    There were times I had to stop reading this book because my eyes were tearing up – the conversations between father-son or two gun buds were exactly the same that I’ve had.

    John Ross captured the “gun culture” in this book. A shame it isn’t in paperback and e-reader. Copies are going for $300+ now – probably what each of us has saved in ammo these past few months….

  21. thebronze says:

    I just got done reading it a few months ago (in PDF) and felt the same; that it was VERY prescient of today’s times (and people) and thought the first part of the book did drag some, but parts of it were good set-up for the rest of the book. I wondered how much of the book was factually accurate (i.e. The Miller NFA case).

    They typos in the PDF copy bugged me a little…