Colorado has very sensible laws with respect to home defense. As a result, we have a very low rate of property crime.
18-1-704.5 – Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
(1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.
(3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.
(4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.
That being said, people need to choose their weapons in sensible fashion. The homeowner on Long Island with an AK-47 was a little over the top. The problem with using a rifle in a neighborhood, is that the bullet will travel right through the criminal into the neighbors house.
A much better choice is a 12-gauge shotgun. You can’t miss, they won’t be getting back up again, shells are cheap, and the shot won’t go through the neighbors wall. The downside of a 12-gauge is the long barrel. You can’t move around the house very easily.
So it is also important to have a handgun. Some people prefer large caliber guns, but I think that the best concealed carry weapon is something small and light. A particular favourite of mine is the North American Arms .22 mag mini-revolver (pictured above.) It holds five rounds which I alternate chambers between bird shot and high velocity hollow point rounds. No one is going to keep coming after you, after taking bird shot to the face from close range. It might not kill them, but they will probably wish they were dead.
If you have a concealed carry permit, I definitely recommend a single action gun – because they can’t fire accidentally. Another favourite of mine is the Colt Beretta .32 auto. It is single action for the first round, but double action for the remaining rounds, so you can pop them off quickly in an emergency.
The best crime deterrent is a law like Colorado has. Only a complete idiot would commit a property crime in Colorado, except for maybe in the Boulder Democratic Republic – where the right to self-defense has been revoked.
If no one is attempting to commit crime, then there is no need for other people to use deadly force to stop them.