Home defense shotgun, best choice under duress?
Me and a friend of mine were discussing the topic of home defense, and while I usually advocate a handgun is a great option if not the optimal option a good shotgun should not be ruled out.
The debate between the two of us was the tired and beaten to death argument of whether a pump action or a semi auto shotgun is the optimal choice.
There was a twist to this discussion and that involved the thought of the unthinkable happening where our significant other was left in a situation where either of us was not present due to being away from the home or incapacited by the intruders.
His query involved, in a state of anxiety, would his wife be able to function in that state and remember to rack the slide of a pump action shotgun to chamber the next round. My argument that ultimately this boils down to training and performing an action so much that it no longer requires thought, since such situations rarely allows one to actively be thinking about anything but survival of you and those you love. His wife is not unfamiliar with firearms, in fact, she grew up in the Phillipines where if I recall, several years of military service is mandatory for all citizens.
His rebuttal is that in his current situation, time is something that simply is at a high premium, especially with a three year old daughter and the struggle they are faced with trying to make ends meet. Training at the range for such a situation is not something high on the priority list right now.
His argument is that in the case of a semi auto shotgun, all you have to do is point and shoot, nothing else is really required other than pulling the trigger. He expressed his concern about his wife remembering to chamber another round if the situation required her to fire more than once.
I essentially came back stating that, while not a factor if the firearm is well maintained, there are more things that can go wrong with a semi automatic, such as jamming and so on as opposed to a pump action. If the firearm were to malfunction, would his wife be able to diagnose the problem and be able to perform remedial actions in a timely manner? Again that boils down to training, which takes time that he expressly stated he and his wife unfortunately currently just can't seem to spare. The simplicty of a pump action shotgun is one of its greatest virtues, and I feel he may be underestimating what any loving and responsible parent would do to protect their child, especially in a situation that could prove life threatening.
Furthermore, I stated that with any firearm, he should sit down and go over the basic functions of it with his spouse. Armed with this knowledge should help midigate some of the problems he was concerned about. Tactical positioning is also something he should consider in such a event. Leaving a shotgun in the bedroom with his wife, and having her take up a defensive position while covering the only entrypoint into the room would help mitigate the chances of her missing the assailent due to lack of experience while he was out and about securing the rest of the house.
What do you all think? Was I correct in my assessments, was there anything I missed or any problems with my stance on the subject.