Showing your hand
Every Sunday morning I go to Starbucks for a cup of coffee and a copy of the newspaper. If the weather is good I will take along my dog and we'll sit outside and drink and read (I do the drinking and reading).
Each Sunday morning that I'm there I see another gentleman there too. He seems friendly enough and we say good morning to each other but we have never exchanged names and I don't know anything about him except that I've seen him pull up in a silver Cadillac CTS.
This morning my dog was sniffing the tires on his CTS and I noticed that the valve stems had replacement valve caps made from (probably) 9mm brass glued to the caps. They looked pretty neat and they had new primers (or false primers) so I would guess that these are commercially available.
Now I see him sitting at a table with his cup in his right hand. His shirt is not tucked and is pretty blousy but I'm pretty sure I saw the butt of his pistol telegraphed through his shirt.
All of which is to ask the question: Why would he buy the valve caps whose only result could be bringing attention to his carry? Other give-aways are: NRA caps and bumper stickers, etc.
A friend of mine who is a veteran undercover cop once asked and answered a question:
What is a backup weapon? It is one more weapon than your adversary thinks you have.. So if you are a uniform cop everyone knows you have your primary weapon (service pistol) and everyone presumes that you have a smaller back up weapon, so to be properly backed up you need a third piece. If you are a civilian and don't look the part of a trouble maker then your primary weapon is probably all you need as long as it is unexpected. But if a bad guy wants to hold you up and he knows that you have a weapon then he does not confront you and ask for your money, he bushwhacks you from behind with a bat and takes it.
So, in my opinion, anything that telegraphs the fact that you are armed is a tactical error. Lose the valve caps that look like 9mm brass.
Good story. I started working a new job a month back and I drive by a starbucks everyday and see people sitting out there. Made me think of that. Plus you bring to attention the good fact of obvious signs that someone has a gun. Another thing is if someone picks a fight or is an ass on the road or something if you see them rockin those stickers or gun shirts think twice before taking the situation even her.