There is an interesting hypothesis that a number of people in the self-defense community likes to refer to quite often. While it generally comes from those who are focused on firearms, it also pops up in those who advocate knife carry, or even the carry of “disguised” or improvised weapons (such as the Comtech Stinger). That hypothesis is essentially how it is foolish to not carry a large tool like a full size pistol or a bigger bladed knife because with proper clothing almost anything can be hidden on a regular basis. And for proof, these lecturers will pull out the “I carried X weapon at (some crowded event or location) and no one made me”. I am not sure they are accurate.
Everyone who trots out that line needs to understand the scientific concept of “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. What does this mean exactly? It means that just because there is no apparent evidence in front of you, it does not mean that you see everything. The classic way of illustrating this is with this:
If Alice bakes a pie, then she places the pie on her window-sill.
She did not place a pie on her window-sill.
Therefore, Alice did not bake a pie
Just because the pie is not on the window sill is not evidence. Perhaps she has just removed the pie from the sill to cut a piece, or that it is still in the oven, or that she is just putting the ingredients together as she bakes.
And just as the pie not being on the window-sill means little, so does not hearing someone say “Oh, you have a gun” mean that you carrying is a beautifully concealed secret.
Here is a personal experience that demonstrates exactly what I mean. A few months ago, I was at a local Mexican restaurant on my lunch hour. As I walked to my table after ordering, I noticed an older gentleman at a corner table. What made him stand out was the fact that he wore an IDPA style vest. Now, Arizona is as pro-gun a state as exists, and I can count on one hand the number of times outside of a gun-oriented event that I have seen that style of vest. So he already stood out. I took a longer look and after about a minute I noticed the tell tale outline of a full size pistol over his right hip. Did I jump up and point at him and scream “gun!”? No. Did I call the police and report a man with a gun? No. Did I go to the person behind the counter and demand they remove Mr. Gun? Of course not. I chuckled to myself, and waited for my food.
I have absolutely no doubt that guy went home that day satisfied that he walked around all day with a concealed pistol and no one knew. And he was completely wrong. I can assure you that was not an isolated incident. People carrying concealed are “made” everyday. Most likely, they are made by another gun guy, and no harm. But it does not mean they were not made. And people should be absolutely sure that they are not before making sure a bold statement.