The problem with saying 8 rounds of .22 are better than 5 of .38 is that you are assuming that you can get off more than one shot or are able to aim or even use two hands. Violent encounters tend to be very brief and count yourself lucky if you can even get to your gun in time. Having been in combat I know that what people imagine in their minds is never soiling your pants or being so scared that they freeze in place and yet that happens, even to tough guys and those who think it will not happen to them.
At best, the first time their accuracy suffers greatly and even I missed at very close range with a fully automatic M16 my first time despite 6 months of training. Reality is very different than what we imagine without the stress of immenient death, no matter how much we think otherwise.
There really is no reason why any able bodied person cannot learn to shoot a 9mm or .38 spl. I teach people in their 70's to do so in my retirement community all the time. The problem seems to be more of an unwillingness to put in the time it takes to get good with those guns. Anyone who played a contact sport has experience a lot worse than even a .44 mag can do to them. In fact, a lot fo old people around here like to shoot a .44 for fun.