Journalist Robin Abcarian did a nice profile piece on attorney Richard Ruggieri. Move To Fire is mentioned in article and in an accompanying photo you can see the book on a shelf behind Ruggieri. check it out here.
The pilot set a course that paralleled highway 101 and, at some point, overtook Sue and Clint in their car below. Both vehicles were moving the family away from their previous, normal lives and toward an unknown future. Brandon was flying away from a normal childhood, leaving behind games of hide and seek in the woods, adventures on his bike and baseball games in the summer. Whether he lived or died, he would never take another step, never wave hello or goodbye, and never hug again.
Ripples from the accident moved through the entire community, and the effects would touch, alter, and impact hundreds of lives. From its small but explosive beginning, the accident’s economic and financial impact on people, schools, the health care and legal systems wouldn’t be fully realized for years, but the effect on the local emergency services and medical system was already substantial, quickly hitting the tens of thousands of dollars in hard costs for the sheriff, paramedics and CDF responses, the ambulance and emergency room treatment, physicians and staff.
The ripple was now moving south at an altitude of two-thousand feet. Every passing minute the REACH chopper was in the air was a minute of calculated risk, and this flight would add $5,000 to the growing costs of Brandon’s accident.
As in so many other aspects of their lives, the family was no different than many blue collar and low income working families, in that they had no health insurance to speak of, nothing that would address anything as catastrophic as Brandon’s sudden medical and health care needs. At a point in the very near future, they would be forced to deal with the paperwork, documents and liens associated with all of this, but right now their toll was psychological, emotional devastation.
The drive to Santa Rosa Memorial hospital took almost ninety minutes. When they arrived, Sue and Clint were told the flight had been redirected to Oakland’s Children’s Hospital, another ninety-minute drive to the southeast.
They had left Willits an hour and a half ago, not knowing the condition of their boy, but because the helicopter had not stopped in Santa Rosa, no one there had any information about Brandon. Clint and Sue wouldn’t know Brandon’s condition for at least another thirty minutes.
Continuing from Chapter One:
Twenty-four hours before the shooting, and six-hundred miles south, in Anaheim, California, a fax was transmitted from Brown & Wilcox, a commercial insurance underwriter, to an agent at an insurance brokerage, regarding Bryco Arms, the manufacturer of the Bryco Model 38.
Bryco had just come off of a good year, with $7,000,000 in sales from 1993-1994, and $14,000,000 sales projections for the next year. The small, privately owned company held the top spot of the small handgun industry. Sales for the Bryco Model 38 were more than $2,500,000 dollars. But the company had been negotiating the cost of liability insurance. The current policy had officially lapsed on April 1st. The new policy would be almost $250,000, an almost $40,000 increase.
Bryco Arms and other small handgun manufacturers were seeing increasing premiums across the board. Market forces, changes in gun laws, especially in California, growing anti-gun sentiment, bad press and a slow but steady rise in litigation against gun makers had insurance companies re-evaluating their clients. The makers of small guns were serious liability risks, and the insurance companies that continued to insure handgun manufacturers had increased premiums and narrowed coverage. As Bryco Arms’ policy neared expiration and the company shopped around for a new policy, three major insurance companies declined to quote coverage for the company.
Bryco Arms negotiated with its insurance agent until the liability coverage expired on April 1, 1994. An offer was made to extend coverage until April 8th, for an additional $8,000, but, as the broker noted on an April 5th fax to the commercial underwriter, “…it is my feeling the insured will not be renewing with us. He feels the cost is too high…”
And so, two days before seven-year old Brandon Maxfield had been wheeled into his small town’s emergency room, closer to death than life, unable to breathe on his own, his spine shattered just below the base of his skull, the manufacturer of the Bryco Model 38 had chosen to ‘go bare’ — Bryco Arms was now without insurance to compensate anyone injured by a defective Bryco handgun.
This is the old trailer for a proposed documentary about the Move To Fire story; at the time it was called Showdown. Great overview for the book, frankly.
In the days leading up to the auction, Brandon’s case received amazing publicity: 11 countries, over 300 news reports and articles.
My book is now available. I am proud of the work, still marvel at the story, and I’m grateful to the people who allowed me to share this with everyone:
It’s a slow rollout, and it may be buried under the plethora of books heavily promoted as gifts for the holidays, but, hell, it took almost eleven years to get it here, so a slow rollout, while occasionally frustrating, almost seems appropriate. I’ll add more bookseller links as distribution expands, and I’ll also use this site to share much about this next phase of the process: reviews, reactions, promo and publicity, etc.
Due to the subject matter — lawyers, guns, and money — I’ll heavily moderate all posts and comments. I’ll allow the full range of viewpoints, but I will also not allow the kind of base, crude, and aberrant type of comments that are always shared (yep, always) by those who have an established, unwavering position on guns, gun violence, gun regulation, and the Second Amendment. The vitriol written by trolls from the safety of their hovels can be repugnant in ways decent folk can’t imagine, as is documented in Move To Fire.
I also look forward to hearing from those who want to explore fact vs myth, accuracy vs rumor, and… you get the point, I’m sure.
Talk to me, tell your friends about this, and no matter what side of America’s guns issue you’re on, recommend this book to every woman, man, and young adult. Obviously, I have to do what I can to succeed commercially, but I have always felt that the Move To Fire story will assist people in their efforts, in OUR efforts, to establish a DMZ of reason and awareness as we work toward a solution to America’s gun problem… because there IS a problem, and one of Move To Fire’s attributes is the underlying lessons of how to find solutions and create change.
Move To Fire – A family’s tragedy, a lone attorney, and a teenager’s victory over a corrupt gunmaker.