The problem with all these caliber discussions is that they assume that you have to physically incapacitate a bad guy. However if you look at the NRA and other numbers the odds of even needing gun are tiny, however if those tiny odds catch up with you, the need to shoot that gun are even tinier. Then having to hit the bad guy are smaller yet and having the caliber matter even smaller than that. So much time and discussion is spent arguing about something that is either not going to matter because the great majority of people do not want to be shot with anything and will retreat at the mere sight of the gun or that most or all of us will never use our guns in our lives. Some are quick to point to 20 articles about this and that happening but they forget we are a nation of over 300,000,000 people so even 100 car jackings is not enough to warrant much concern. The real reason is that men like to carry weapons to feel powerful or to ease their fears. Most guys I know carry guns to feel safe rather than to be safe because they carry small guns in places that it would take them a long time to get to and either never have shot them or shot them rarely. Men always wanted weapons with them since discovering the rock and even then they argued about which size rock was best.
Too much focus in put on Bigfoot, I mean that elusive drug addict who will not stop at anything. That kind of person is extremely rare and we are talking about a chain of events whose odds keep getting smaller and smaller to the point that they do not deserve our concern. I bet most of you do not even know anyone who used a gun to safe their lives as a civilian. Personally other than in combat, my 2 civilian encounters with bad guys ended abruptly when they saw my gun. They did not ask what caliber it was (both times a .38) and were not willing to risk being shot to see just how much money was in my wallet. That is usually goes and even if you have to shoot, not many criminals will want to hang around and engage into a shootout with you knowing that someone has called the police and they have to get away real quick. The fact that they know that if shot by anything they will have to go to the hospital is a major deterrent.
Some call me stupid or silly for carrying a 5 round snub nose .38 but know what? The odds are overwhelming in my favor and yours that I willnever have to shoot that gun at someone and in the end the great majority of us will be in the same boat. Who is stupid then, the guys who went through life lugging around big and heavy guns (yeah they all say it is no bother but it is) or those of us who choose to live our lives in comfort rather than pretend we are office clerks by day and Rambo on the street with the skill and training to take on multiple armed attackers. That is one of the reasons I hear for carrying a lot of rounds. As if the multiple attackers are going to wait for you to finish shooting the first guy before they shoot at you. One thing I have learned is that most guys have a mental picture of their gun fight. Inevitably it involves them prevailing using their gun of choice despite the fact that 99% receive no training. No one has a mental picture of themselves soiling their pants and being frozen with fear and yet I have seen that happen all too many times, even with tough guys who never came under fire before.
My advice is to stay away from the wrong places and people and use common sense and you will be fine. I lived the first 64 years of my life in bad places and never needed a gun. I carry now because I am older and do not run so fast and seniors are frequent targets in Florida. I actually felt safer in NYC than I do in Florida where the newspapers are full of shooting every day which the local fourms are quick to point out as a reason to carry a 1911 or two. However if you read the articles the people involved are low lives, drug addicts and slum dwellers. You rarely read about upstanding middle class people being victims of violent crime. Sure it happens but so does winning Mega Millions and the odds of you needing a gun are worse than winning that. I am pro gun and like guns can carry them but I am not gun centric and do not carry uncomfortable guns. My gun is like my spare tire only it will probably never been used. Even if you shoot someone in a justified shooting your life will be hell. Heck it took me years to get my head straight coming out of combat. Most of us are not wired to kill people and doing so takes its toll. Then there is the financial cost which will bankrupt most, put stress on the family and even beak them up.
My point is that all this talk on calibers is for very rare instances if you actually have to shoot to physically stop someone and for civilians that is not all that common. Since moving to Florida I have been keeping track fo shooting when they mention calibers and it seems that those with .22's are the majority and do pretty darn good. Have not read about any one shooting someone with their .22 and having them laugh at them or ignoring it. It seems that they all run away. But then again there is Bigfoot the drug addict who will not quit and the reason why guys buy .45's or bigger. Almost the same reason why so many guys I know buy big .464 or .500 guns for bear and have never stepped foot in the woods in their life. I admit that carrying a gun fills a basic need in most men of the warrior class. It empowers me and I do not have to fear those more powerful than I am. I am honest with my reasons for carrying a gun and will not say it is because the world is a real dangerous place in my upscale neighborhood where the worst that has happend since 1980 is a few petty home burglaries of the homes of snow birds. Not one violent crime in all that time and if I am stupid for carrying a snub nose of NAA Pug then what is the guy who carries two pounds or more of gun on his belt daily and will never need it?