Practicality of a rifle (AR-15) for home-defense and SHTF?
LONG VERSION: I've owned a 9mm semi-auto handgun for quite awhile as my "primary" self-defense weapon, and I plan for it to be my primary SHTF weapon also, if the situation ever arises. Though, I know some people only consider a handgun as a sidearm. Which has got me thinking about if I should get a long gun as my primary self-defense and "SHTF" gun. I've ruled out shotguns as practical weapons in any situations due to various reasons (high chance of friendly fire because of spray, short range firepower that handgun can already cover, etc).
Since shotguns are out of the picture, I'm considering getting a California-legal rifle (like an AR-15), but how practical is a rifle in any realistic defensive situations? After thinking it over, it seems like even though a rifle is tempting, it's really not that useful, and here's why:
1) In a regular home-invasion scenario, it's most likely going to be a close quarter type of situation, and an AR-15 type gun would be unwieldy around corners/doorways/hallways. Considering the average house has a length of under 21 yards, that's still well within the range of what a handgun could handle, so there's no reason why I wouldn't just use my 9mm. A handgun is also much easier to store securely in a bedroom but also have ready in a jiffy if it's ever needed.
2) The next scenario is if I am out and about regularly, I can easily CCW my 9mm IWB. The same cannot be said for a rifle. Also, I don't plan on open carrying because OC of any type of firearm is just asking for trouble (police can give you unneeded trouble even if you're not doing anything wrong; attracts bad guys attention who may follow you home/kill you for weapon).
3) In a SHTF situation, like a total government/economic collapse, people are going to be out in the streets rioting and looting. Anyone who even looks like they may be packing a firearm outside of their homes will be flagged by the police/army and detained/disarmed for security reasons (think Hurricane Katrina). On top of that, anyone walking around with visible firearms (like rifles) will be prime targets for looters/gang members to steal food/ammo/guns from. Again, the best is to CCW a handgun. A rifle would be unwieldy to carry in these types of situations.
4) The last scenario is home-defense in SHTF. I see most rifle owners saying that they will camp out in front of their houses with rifles picking off looters during a SHTF scenario. But honestly, how practical is that? If you're camping out in your house with a rifle, where would you camp out exactly? Upstairs window? Front porch? Side fence? Any camping locations that I can think of for a regular house aren't too covert in my opinion, and is highly visible. The bad guys could easily scout you with binoculars and snipe you before you see them coming. And they'll most likely attack during the night time where they have the cover of darkness, in which you'll likely be sleeping anyway. Again, in this situation, it's best to cover your windows and stay indoors, hoping to not attract attention. If someone does breaks in, you'll be ready to show them the barrel end of your handgun.
5) The last scenario is hunting for game. I often see people saying that in a SHTF situation, they'd bug out into the wilderness and hunt for game. According to generous estimates, we have 21 something million deer in United States. With a U.S. population of 300 million people of which 40% own guns, let's say a quarter of them decide to go out and hunt deer in a SHTF situation. That would put us at 30 million people looking for deer to hunt. Now, as you can see, there's not even enough deer in the United States to go around for all the hunters out there. The deer population would be decimated within a week or two. There's also animals such as rabbits and other small game, but those will go the way of the dodo bird in no time too. So to me, hunting really isn't a good reason to own a rifle either.
As you'll notice, in all of these situations, a handgun would be all a person needs. So again, is the extra investment for a rifle and extra accessories worth it? I'm thinking my best bet is just to save the money and spend it on more handgun ammo, and food.
Maybe I'm making a major oversight, but that's where you guys come in. ;) What do you guys think?