Come on, man, how often do you think someone breaks into another person’s house and the owner has the time or know-how to get his gun and shoot the intruder? You would have to keep a loaded gun located close at hand.[/quote]
The NRA publishes a magazine called First Freedom, devoted specifically to 2nd Amendment Rights. They have a column in the mag which reports recent home invasions or muggings/kidnappings which were foiled by gun possession. It actually happens more than you might think. Also, just because you don’t agree with it, when the majority of the nation does, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a right.
As far as the original question, find a range which allows you to rent handguns, and have the GF try several different models and calibers of handgun. Once you find one she is comfortable with, then get it and start her practicing.
Don’t know where in NC you live, but Blackwater runs a 3-day pistol course, which I put my wife through before I deployed for the first time. Three days, 1500+ rounds fired. Can’t get better instruction/experience than that.
If you are concerned with possible wall penetration, look for Glaser Safety rounds for whatever gun you buy. They make them in most popular calibers(I got them in .45 for the house). The Glaser has a copper jacket, wrapped around a polymer slug containing shot. When it hits something solid, the jacket ruptures, sending the shot out. If you miss your intended target and hit a wall, the first layer of drywall will open it, the second layer will absorb the shot. If you hit your target, it will still put him down, since a sphere dissipates energy faster than a cylindrical bullet(better impact energy transfer).
I loaded the first 6 rounds in my home mag with Glaser, then followed it up with CorBon 200gr JHP, just in case(14 round magazine - Springfield 1911 double stack).
Also agree with the shotty. Everyone knows what a pump sounds like, so that will usually cause immediate evacuation(both of his bowels and the house). In my ‘dream’ 12ga, I would add a short barrel(16.5" to stay legal), gost ring sights, and a pressure-switch flashlight in the forearm, in addition to the side saddle. And don’t worry about tactics, work out a plan with the GF as to roles and responsibilities. ‘I grab the shotgun, you grab the phone, we stay behind the bed covering the door until police arrive.’ Or whatever works. Definitely don’t want to go clearing the house solo.