Author Archives: jhoos

Jack of Heatrts

You don’t know Jack about CCW. And neither do I.

Jack of HeatrtsI’ve wanted to formulate a post/article on CCW for quite some time now.  Let’s start from some common ground.  You don’t know jack.  And neither do I.  We each may know some strong points, but we’ll never know everything.  Before you can start this, we have to agree on that.  I am not an instructor.  I do not want to be.

I am going to approach this from the perspective of someone who is a lifelong shooter, has worked in positions in which I was required to carry, and have carried, legally, different times in my life.  I will soon have my Ohio CHL and will carry all the time.  I want to convey that I absolutely believe every person has a God-given right to carry a gun and to protect himself or herself with it.  But you weren’t born using a fork and spoon, just like you weren’t born with a gun in your hand.  You have to learn.

In Ohio, we have a training requirement to carry a concealed handgun.  Until March 23rd, 2015 it involved 10 hours of classroom instruction and 2 hours of range instruction.  After March 23rd, 2015, that drops to 6 hours of classroom and 2 hours of range instruction.  These courses are NOT designed to teach you to be a self-defense shooter.  They are designed for you to be exposed to a minimum level of instruction in firearms and the laws about them, as well as for you to demonstrate safe handling of a firearm.  In 8 hours.  I want you to think back to when you took Driver’s Education.  For me that involved a 9-week course at my school after school, 2 hours each day and then an additional 80 hours of behind the wheel instruction, as well as having to pass the Ohio Driver’s License written exam.  And after all that?  I didn’t know jack about real world driving.  And neither did you.  So where am I going with that?  Right, wrong, or indifferent, to qualify to carry a handgun concealed in Ohio, you get 8 hours of instructor-led training, and then you are allowed to carry a device that, when properly used, is harmless, unless it needs to be otherwise, in which case, it is deadly.  Many people seem to baulk at paying, on average, $100 for this education.  Many people seem to feel it is also all that you need to be a good steward of concealed carry.  And baulk at paying $12.50/hr. (after 3/23/15) to get it.  In my mind, to have a professional instructor, that’s a good value.  Will a $45 class be just as good?  I don’t know.  I didn’t take one.  I do know that at the end of my course I knew who Jack was.  But we’d still never met.

So how did you get to where you could feed your face without needing a bib?  You practiced.  A lot.  HUNDREDS UPON HUNDREDS of times.  Being skilled with a firearm is the same thing.  Very few people are actually instinctive shooters by nature.  I’ve met three in my life and I’m married to one of them.  What does that mean?  Well, they are really freaking good at hitting a target.  I’m pretty good.  But shooting was ANYTHING but instinctive to me.  I learned to shoot the hard way.  I did it, a lot.  This is what most people need to do.  A very sad statistic involves many law enforcement officers.  They, on average, discharge their service weapon for training and qualification a total of 100 rounds a year.  Have you ever been to the range where a police officer was shooting?  How did they do?  I’ve seen some pretty good shots, but they were folks for whom shooting was a hobby and not just a potential job function, and I have seen some who were… Not so good.

If you want to be very good, and a good steward of CCW, you need to have a solid fundamental skill set in shooting in general.  That means pointing your firearm down range and safely firing rounds onto a target the size of the human center of mass and at least having every round on that area from a reasonable distance, 30’ being a good mark, doing it at 50’ is even better.  Think of an 8.5×11 sheet of paper.  That should be your ballpark 101.  Next, be able to do the same thing, rapid fire to the capacity of your weapon. When you can do that consistently, you then need to start doing the same thing from your holster.  Every round needs to hit that paper.  Any round that doesn’t just killed the thing in the world you hold most dear.  Sounds dramatic?  Well, a stray round killing someone else, is.  Once you’re comfortable and competent drawing and firing from your carry holster, doing so should become an integral part of your shooting practice, if you can find a facility that allows it.  If not, try to find one that will.  You should also try to practice at different ranges from point black back to 50’ if you can.  How much should you practice?  As much as it takes for you to be able to consistently put those rounds into that piece of paper from 7’, 14’, 21’ and 30’ is a good BASELINE.  Realistically, if you’re capable, getting involved in a hobby-level shooting sport that involves learning to shoot while moving, from cover and concealment, and at varied ranges is going to serve you well.  You should also be able to do this from your non-dominant hand.

Earlier I mentioned your carry holster.  I have seen dozens, maybe hundreds, of cases of people waiting to find the cheap solution to a holster.  If you are going to carry a gun the holster you use needs to be one of a quality manufacture, that is absolutely comfortable for you to have on your body no less than 18 hours per day.  If it doesn’t fit those criteria it is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  It needs to retain its shape, protect your weapon and be comfortable and durable.  You are probably going to go through several until you find the exact right one, but I will tell you this, you’re probably not going to buy it at Wal-Mart.  You are buying a (bra/jock strap) you should feel comfortable and willing to PUT ON AND WEAR EVERY DAY ALL DAY.  It needs to be as close to your definition of perfect feeling as you can get, NO MATTER THE COST.

Opinions vary all across the board as to carry weapons, calibers and ammunition.  The FBI Ballistic Test Protocol (http://greent.com/40Page/general/fbitest.htm) sets a quantifiable standard for the effectiveness of ammunition.  In my opinion, for a general carry weapon, if the round in question will NOT pass this protocol then it is not suitable for carry.  There are some very specific exceptions, and they are rare and I’m not going into that here.  The FBI Ballistic Test Protocol is the guide I, and most others, use, to make sure their ammo will deliver a wound capable of inflicting damage that should be capable of delivering a mortal wound with ideal placement.  No one should rely on one shot stopping anyone, it, generally doesn’t happen.  You also should proof the ammo to work reliable in your firearm.  That means you’re going to be firing enough rounds of your chosen ammo through your firearm to be certain that it will feed, fire and function under varied conditions.  Slow fire, rapid fire, full magazine, partial magazine (or cylinder.) And this should be done through your carry gun that you have fire enough rounds through to also be comfortable that it will function reliably.  Some schools of thought recommend that you fire no less than 500 rounds though your carry gun before you ever carry it.  That’s something you’re going to have to decide, but it’s NOT a bad idea.  As to what gun you should Nope.  Not going there.  Too much emotional attachment.  If it won’t fire 500 rounds in a row without a failure it is probably not a good choice.  Period.

I want to come back around to what carrying a gun is fundamentally about, and that is shooting.  IN order to be a good shooter you have to shoot.  It all comes back to the old joke of “how do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice. Practice. Practice.”  The fundamental ability to shoot well will be developed by practicing.  Practicing with your carry weapon, from your carry holster also achieves a training element of building muscle memory.  You will learn your failure points, and you will develop muscle memory that will come from doing the activity over and over and over.  When it comes down to the time when you actually have to draw your weapon and fire the person who has practiced this often will be orders of magnitude faster, and more accurate, than someone who does not.  The person you may have to fire on is someone who intends to kill you, and you can bet your bottom dollar, THEY HAVE PRACTICED.  And they WILL KILL YOU if given the chance.  They do not care about bystanders!  They do not care about missed shots!  They do not care about the baby in your arms!  They are intent on making sure you get dead, so that they do not get dead, and they can escape.

The final element that is essential to being a good firearm carrier is that of training.  There are people who make it their life’s work to become as absolutely versed on carrying firearms, shooting them, drawing them from holsters, shooting under circumstances you’ve never considered.  They are in the business of attempting to convey knowledge they have gained from their own training, from experience, and from practice.  Your CCW class is an introduction to get you to a bare minimum qualification level.  Every bit of training you can get beyond that, that you can afford, and you should afford, is going to get you a small step closer to knowing Jack.  The money you spend will help you to develop good habits, think about scenarios and situations you have not considered, and have a professional instructor work with you to help you overcome short falls that we ALL have.  Even if you can only take one class a year you will be LIGHT YEARS ahead of someone who only ever did the bare minimum.  You know the bare minimum type; we’ve all worked with them, right?  And be a good consumer of instructors.  An educated one.  There are a lot of mall ninjas and paper tigers out there.  And then you’ve got the guys that are really good and know their stuff.  Talk to people who have taken classes from them.  Make sure you’re making an investment and not just being entertained.

At the end of the day you are taking on a responsibility to safely and skillfully be in possession of a deadly weapon with the ability and understanding that you can and will only use it with absolutely the best skills at your disposal under circumstances that warrant it.  Every round you fire, every class you take, every video you watch, and every book you read is a tool in your belt and gets you closer to knowing Jack.  Who knows Jack?  In my mind it would be the person who has lived and breathed under immediate and imminent threat of their life every single day, and possibly has experienced it.  You probably don’t want to be Jack, but you want to develop as close to a skill set as he has as possible.

Again, I’m not a professional, not an instructor, and freely admit I don’t know Jack.  But I hope that reading this helps someone to get closer to it

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Open Letter to Worthington City Schools

An Open Letter to the Superintendent, Staff and employees of the Worthington City School system from a father of one of your students who lives two hours away:

Good day to you all.  Thank you, first and foremost, for the outstanding job that is reported to me by my daughter, a sixth grade student, and by her mother.  The evidence of your education excellence is reflected in the education she is achieving, and the inquiring mind she has developed, as well as social skills and those in music.  I commend you for it.

The past few years have presented challenges to the Primary and Secondary education professions that have to be difficult to manage.  With subzero wind chills, budget issues, and sadly, sociopathic individuals targeting children and schools for attack.  The last of these I would like to specifically address to you all.

Each of you, every day, is responsible for thousands of young souls.  I am sure they are each precious to you and unique and loved.  To a parent, they are more.  They are the reason we go without, the reason we keep going, the reason we smile, the reason we laugh, the person or persons in our lives who we would, without hesitation, stand in front of an oncoming car for.  Or, if need be, take any attack to keep it from going to them.  They are priceless, precious, and irreplaceable.  Please remember that.  There are thousands in your care, but to us as parents, our own is the most important, and likely one of our greatest reasons for keeping moving forward in this world.  We build hoping for better things for them, do our best to protect them, and trust you to care for them.

To that end, I, respectfully, ask that you continue to do everything you can to make your school system anything BUT a soft target.  I understand these measures are improved daily, but there must be, from each member of your staff, a singular dedication that you will NOT allow harm to come to our children, to my child.  No matter what it takes to accomplish this.  Maybe you didn’t go into education with the idea of being a protector.  The world we live in now forces you to step into that role, along with the thankless others you take on as an educator.  I regret having to require yet more of you, but you see, I’ve only got the one little girl.  I want to dance at her wedding, hold her babies, and share her life for as long as God grants me breath.  I EXPECT YOU TO PROTECT HER.  By any and all means legally available.

I understand the procedures you have in place.  I want you to do more.  I would like to see my child protected at the same level as a banker, or a bank, by people trained and dedicated to doing so.  I want you each to be trained in advanced first aid and trauma treatment.  To have the resources at your disposal in every classroom to use that training.  I would prefer that you all were highly trained and armed and that you had the conviction to stop any attacker instantly.  For you see, you are there, and I am not.  And the most precious person in the world to me is in your care.  Consider it strongly.

With all due respect,

Jerod J. Husvar, Father.

Mrs. Hoose here with another helpful kitchen tip!

Even with our pantry shelves stocked mostly full, the temptation to run to the store every time I have a brain fart about dinner plans is all too high. It costs time, energy, and sodium.

Yes, sodium. We both need to watch out for it. When dinner plans have to change at the last minute, that frozen pizza or trip to Deathburgers R Us today can result in negative consequences tomorrow.

Here is the recipe we came up with for sauteed new potatoes. It’s relatively quick and very satisfying, without being too heavy on the salt. Plus, if they come out ahead of your main course, you can put a lid on the skillet and set them off the heat and they will stay warm.

  • 2 15 ounce cans new potatoes (drained,) either whole or sliced. (The whole ones will need to be sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Seasonings to taste

Heat butter and olive oil on medium heat in a nonstick skillet. The butter and oil should be slightly foaming when you add the sliced potatoes.

Add potatoes and sprinkle some seasonings on the top. Stir occasionally, about every 2 minutes or so. Overworking the potatoes will result in them crumbling.

Keep stirring until potatoes are slightly golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.

I would share a picture, but we ate them before I had that idea. Oops! Maybe next time!

In defense of the 1911, and all others.

I don’t know how any of those hundreds of thousands of GI’s who carried 1911’s ever made it home alive… All with FMJ, too! It’s not about the tool, it’s about how you use it, maintain it, and train with it. Capacity is a factor, of course, as are many other things, but anyone who wants to try to tell me that 1911’s are unreliable and finicky and hard to work on I will HAPPILY take to a VFW hall of your choice and let the guys and gals there show you how fast someone who has TRAINED WITH THEIR WEAPON SYSTEM can tear down, clean, and reassemble one, and then we’ll go to the range and they can show you how horribly these guns shoot. Sure, it’s a 100 year old design, and there are newer, perhaps better designs, but the 1911 is NOT some mystical anachronism. Strangely, the United States Marine Corps just went BACK to a modified 1911 for their Close Quarter Battle Pistol. You can prefer a newer design, you can find it to be something that works better for you, but this bullshit of people saying it’s an unreliable and incapable firearm is getting on my nerves. Pick what works best for YOU and stop telling other people why they’re wrong. The gun YOU want is the gun YOU should shoot, use, carry, whatever. But don’t dog on someone else because they’ve decided to go a different route. If one design were the be all and end all, everyone would make it, carry it and use it and nothing else would need to be sold. the 1911 has stood the test of time, has been copied, modified, upgraded and made in nearly every caliber you can think of from .22LR to 32acp, 380acp, 9mm, .38 super, .40 S&W, 10mm, .45 ACP and yes, even .357 magnum. If it were such an inferior design, no one would bother.

Personally, if I wanted a 1911 for carry today I’d probably go buy a Colt® M1070CQBP, which is what the USMC is going to be using. I would then learn the few changes it has over the 1911’s I am familiar with, and love it long time. If you want to carry a Glock 17, a Walther PPK, a Smith and Wesson J-frame or a North American Arms .22LR revolver, well, God Bless You. Everyone has their own reasons for picking what they pick. I don’t understand the constant need to proselytize one design over another. There are VERY few bad firearms designs out there anymore, and even fewer poorly made weapons. In the day of the Internet, word gets around too quickly and a bad design or process can kill a company.

As to the Ruger SR1911, before you consider one I would HIGHLY recommend you google search “sr1911 rust.”

Sorry for the soapbox, but people need to understand that there is no one solution for everyone. Use what works for you, and be ready for what you have to. Period.

http://www.colt.com/Colt…/Products/ColtM1070CQBPM45A1.aspx
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The “Magic” of Layaway… How I have nice things.

layawaySo over the years I have accumulated a few items that have very high value.  Many people have assumed I must have a high debt load because of it.  It’s actually the furthest thing from the truth.  Other than my house, car, and about $500 in miscellaneous credit card debt, I own everything I have.

So how does layaway work?  You find a place that offers it.  I’ll use a local gun store as an example because it’s my hobby and most common interest.  Let’s say they have a $700 Ruger SR1911 I want.  I don’t have $700 available cash at hand most of the time.  But if I have 1/3 of it, or about $235, the shop will allow me to place a deposit and then pay on it as I have the funds available over the next 90 days.  This allows me to budget for making the rest of the payments, and to have a great item without having to either go into debt or have all the money right then right there.

Most places offer 90 days, some will go out to six months or even a year, especially for high-dollar items.  Just remember to read the terms of the agreement, that you’re entitled to a refund if you can’t, for some reason, pay it off in time, and that you’re dealing with a reputable shop.

Enjoy your new item, that you own, outright.

On Bereavment, Dingoes and Firearms Values

Anyone who knows me knows that I take a lot of pride in knowing the value of a firearm, or in knowing how to find out what it is.  If I list something for sale, it generally sells quickly, and at asking price.  I really have taken a lot of effort to learn what guns are worth, what they’re selling for, and what the latest trends in popular and classic firearms are.  I developed this knowledge after, well, being screwed pretty badly because I didn’t have it.

When my father passed away in December of 2010, he didn’t leave a huge cash estate.  He had a lot of tools, and a lot of firearms.  He also had no burial insurance.  Because of a lack of knowledge, I ended up selling a LOT of firearms for MUCH less than they were actually worth.  Not so much out of desperation, as out of ignorance.  You see, when you’re looking to sell firearms quickly, the Dingoes come out of the woodwork to “help.”

At that time I knew what a Blue Book was, but I’d never owned one, and certainly didn’t have one.  Since my father had quite a few firearms he’d collected over the years in his safe, new in the box but never fired, a friend recommended I deal with a small dealer who was a friend of theirs from their church.  Now I’ve been around guns my whole life, but usually, up until that time, I bought new from dealers or used from dealers in gun stores, and very rarely did any research beyond “good price from good place.”  I trusted that this small dealer in Stark County would give fair value, and provided him a list.  He came back with prices, with what sounded like a reasonable explanation at the time…  “Even though they’re new in the box and unfired, they’re used guns, they are like a car, as soon as they leave the dealer, they lose a lot of their value.”  I’ve since learned that, yes, it’s not a “NEW” gun, but they don’t lose HALF of their value by having been sold and tucked away.  This dealer ended up with some fantastic deals on some very nice firearms because I trusted him, and he talked a good game.  Just an example, he got a new, unfired, Ruger Mark II Stainless Heavy Barrel .22, all original paperwork, box, the lot, for $175.  He was a Dingo, and I was a bleeding lamb that was cut from the herd and slaughtered.

There are many honest people and dealers out in our communities.  There are also a lot of dingoes.  They will do anything possible to get a fantastic deal, and will lie and cheat to make it happen  There are tons of resources available to tell you what the ACTUAL value of a firearm is.  The Gun Traders Guide and the Blue Book of Gun Values will tell you the average prices a firearm has sold for in the past year based upon it’s condition.  They will also explain how to assess the condition of a firearm to get an idea of the value.  There’s also a nation-wide website called Armslist that is composed of real people and dealers selling firearms.  A quick search will give you an idea of the current asking price of a firearm both locally and nationally.  Keep in mind these are asking prices and tend to have a factor built in to them based upon the knowledge that a buyer is going to haggle the price down.  You can also seek out a reputable dealer who has a reputation for dealing square.  A dealer isn’t going to give you full value, but an honest one will tell you what your firearms are worth on the private market and what they can give you for them and still make some money when selling them.  Again, they should be upfront about that fact.

If you need to sell of firearms in a crisis the worst thing you can let happen is for people to know that you’re IN A CRISIS.  It brings out the Dingoes in droves, and they will take advantage of your emotional state to attempt to get the firearms for as little as possible and you still feel like you got some fair cash for them.  It’s much better to either wait, involve a friend to help verify pricing, or do the research yourself and sell them off slowly for value.  Learn from my mistake.  I did.

A few Dingoes made a lot of money off my father’s dying because we felt a need to desperation sell, and were led to people who make their living off buying during other people’s grief.  It’s fair to say that, in many cases, my lack of knowledge, trust, and feeling like I had to raise money quickly, resulted in several of my father’s firearms being sold for 40-50% below actual value.  I have since armed myself with the knowledge to never have that happen again.

Get off the fence, or pay someone to do it for you…

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Anyone who knows me knows that I am an advocate for many issues.  What they are really isn’t important as far as this posting goes.  What is important is that if you believe in something, are passionate about it, and want to support it, you need to do more than give it lip service.  Clicking “like” or “favorite” or “+1,” in reality, is lip service.  It’s collected with a bunch of like-minded people and just shows moral support for the crowd.

To often, those of us who are passionate about things are only so in our minds.  Or in a group of like-minded people.  Many folks don’t reach outside that comfort zone.  If you are really passionate about a cause you need to be working for that cause.  Supporting it with time, effort, financially or with advocacy.  Take time to write letters, call people, reach out to people with no opinion, or those on the fence.  Do so respectfully!

If you can’t do that, at least band together with other folks of like mind and support the members who DO those things.  Join a paid national advocacy.  Contribute to a local chapter’s benefit.  Do something besides sitting around and BSing with like-minded people.