New Jovian Thunderbolt tagged me a week ago tomorrow with a meme and I've been hiding from it: "...things that indicate, to me, that a gun owner or shooter maybe is an honest one..."
It is an interesting question -- do I look like Diogenes' kid sister? Oversized bathrobe aside? (No, no, not "aside" like that! Oh, the salacity!). How can you tell, other than a nice long lived-through-it history with them, that anyone is honest?
Well, you can't; but most of us have workable substitutes.
First off, I try to be polite and fair to everyone I meet. --I do not always succeed; if your first words to me include wild accusations and scatological talk, I'm liable to jump salty. But in general interaction, we reap as we have sown and I try to be "kind, tolerant, genial" and possibly even "benevolent" or at least beneficient. People who react in kind get a conditional okay.
Next, how're they dressed? How do the carry themselves? Appropriate to the circumstances? Any tattoos? If so, izzit art or skinhead/gangity stuff? Hey, it's probably soooo unfair, but if I see a lotta ugly monochrome work on your skin, I'm liable to keep my distance until I know more. Your Mom might love you unconditionally but me, not so much.
Let's say this is at a range or similar gunny venue, what's their ordnance like? Well cared-for or all beat up? Decent quality or junk? If junk, do I get the impression it's the best they could afford and is handled to optimize its utility, or is the person just an idiot? A lot of shiny plating on an "affordable" firearm is a downcheck, barring countervailing evidence; d00d with a filthy, beat-up Glock had better be Mr. Gun School otherwise.
What's their gun-handling like? Safe or sloppy? If they're not safe, they could be a pillar of probity in every other way but I am still not trusting them. That goes double if they won't take a hint, quadruple if they argue about basics.
Do they know their own guns? (See preceding two). Again, this is subjective and variable; maybe it's Mr. Poor-But-Honest's first trip to the range with the gold-plated-trigger Lorcin that was the only thing in his price range at Cheap Used Guns Inc. Still, there's fumbling and fumbling, getting to know a new gun vs. empirical, street-y awkwardness. It's a clue.
Do they share? Not required but it's a useful parameter; the guy who's shooting something unusual and is willing to talk about it, maybe even offer others (who he has decided to trust) a chance to try it out.
Note that all of this can, in fact, be run as a setup for a scam; some version of the fiddle game, for instance.
So how can you tell if someone is honest? Barring very long association, you can't; all you can do is make your best decision and rely on the odds to pick up the slack: most people are honest enough and as for the rest, well, it's difficult to cheat an honest person.
I'm supposed to tag others but by now, everyone I know well enough to do that to has already been bit. I guess I could "tag" some antis and people I've crossed words with, but why shovel coal in their engines? Nope, you, Dear Audience, I'll tag you! In comments or at your place (link back if you're minded): what're your criteria for an honest gunny?
1. Cripes, who left a distaff-equivalent of avuncular outta the language? "Amitable" would clatter 'round too much in the brainbox and "materternal" is even worse.
2. What's the old saying, "Be friendly to everyone you meet, and always have a plan to kill them." Just for practice. Um, mostly. Also, did you locate the exits?
3. Also known as a "pigeon drop." Relatedly, I think I lost my glass eye in here! $500 reward!
A VINTAGE-SUITABLE CALENDAR
4 weeks ago