Even in the city, the police can not guarantee you that they will be there in a timely fashion. I think 4-5 minutes is an average acceptable response time. Thats a pretty long time to be waiting when someone is bringing violence to you or your familly.
If your home is being invaded I would assume the police would consider that a high priority. Even then how would you be able to get to your weapon in a timely fashion and what if it fell into the hands of the perp.
If you are going to quote me higher per capita gun death, bring me a reference. While you are at it, look up total numbers of violent death, rape and other violent assault, between Canada and the USA. It doesn't matter how, or with what you are victimized, all it matter is that you are.
If your carrying a firearm out of fear, then chances are that you will use it irrationaly. I'm not afraid of being "victimized", and if I am then I will go to the police. I have a feeling we'd see more innocent bystanders get shot because someone over reacted and thought they were going to be killed, raped, or robbed.
Statistics for the United States.http://www.nationmaster.com/cat/cri-crime
Total crime per capita in the world- #8
Assaults per capita- #6
Firearms homicide per capita- #8
Overall homicide rate per capita- #14
Murders per capita- #24 [to put this in perspective, Canada was at 44, Australia at 43, and the United Kingdom at 46]
Murders with firearms per capita- #8 [while Canada was at 20, Australia at 27, and the United Kingdom at 32]
Personally I feel safer knowing that people aren't walking around with guns because they think that the person standing next to them is a rapist, thug, or serial killer. It will only lead to trouble.
You can deny it all you want. You can "feel" as safe as you want. But once you have all the data, you will see that intellectually there is a chance that you, or a loved one, will be faced with violence. Will you accept it, like a sheep, and let them slit your throath. Or will you be ready?
Canada has a much lower violent crime rate than the US, despite the fact they have more guns than Canada, same with Great Britian and Australia. As for "being ready", I don't feel like standing guard at my door with a shotgun because I'm afraid of the rapist, serial killer, or thug. But I'll wait a few weeks to see if anybody is about to slit my throat. I've been through most major cities in Canada, including some of the poorer parts of them and have yet to face the kind of danger that you have. Even when people have been confrontational I knew how to handle the situation instead of automatically thinking of a way to maim them, and hell I don't think I would want to kill or shoot someone, even if they were to steal my wallet.
Denial screams to me:"Baaaaaahhhhhh, Baaaaaaaaahhhh."
Unfortunately statistics scream at me as well, so far they don't paint a rosey picture of our neighbours down south who live in so much fear of criminals that they feel the need to buy guns instead of actually dealing with any of the issues which cause crime. Anytime people are motivated by fear they usually end up doing stupid things.
As well while I lived on the family farm we would often have people stealing gas, stealing trucks, stealing equipment, and on the odd occasion burning bales of hay. However despite this we never felt the need to use the firearm to protect us, nor store it under our pillows incase the intruders ever got into the house. If you can the best course of action is to call the police and fine somewhere safe to hide or go to the neighbours, I'm sure that most police officers would agree with that. As well if a criminal does get into your house how will you be able to get to your firearm if it is properly stored away, unless you have it near you it won't do much. You also have to take into account what will happen if the perp gets his hands on the firearm.
It's good for me to know, however, that while the dog and I are doing our thing, my wife is doing HER thing, getting the weapons out from the (approved, legal) lockup and loading them. We've never needed them, but they've always been there - perhaps this proves my point that having been a soldier for most of my life, I understand escalation of force (IE - when you need to escalate, and when you don't).
Most civilian's don't know about IE, that is my position. Its fine for LE and military personal but for your average civilian who has never used firearms professionally they aren't in the same league. My brother bought some firearms and we went to shoot some of them off, and I found myself constantly correcting him on how to properly use them simply because their isn't enough education out there. Thats the difference between the US and the Swiss with regards to firearms ownership, I have a problem with a system where any person can get their hands on a high powered weapon or handgun.