I have to admit, as a former LEO, if I walked up to a car and shined my flashlight inside, like they all do, I would be a little nervous when I discovered a firearm in that position. I think it would be better to have it concealed and hand an officer your permit along with your drivers license. Let him take it from there.
As far as dealing with bad guys, I would think if it was concealed you could still retrieve it if the need arises. Just my thoughts. But of course I don't live in St. Louis, you might be right.