What is the preferred weapon protocol for home defense? I live in a two-story home where the 2nd floor master bedroom has an unobstructed view of the top of the stairs leading from the 1st floor to the 2nd. There is even a small alcove in front of the door which would provide excellent cover for me or my wife (armed and ready, of course). I presently have a 12ga. riot gun in an easily reached corner of my closet, which, in turn is just inside the door to the hallway. I have lately taken to securing my .38 cal. Charter Arms Undercover and my Browning Hi-Power in a locked case on the 3rd floor (formerly maid's quarters). The house is alarmed and security-gated; I am confident the sounds of any home invasion attempts would give ample time to retreat to the bedroom, retrieve the riot gun and cover the stairs while using a cell-'phone to dial 911. The question in my mind is whether I should also have the 9mm loaded and nearby, too.