I'm so sorry to read what happened to you Proctor. I hope you and your wife can recover from this traumatic and unconscionable violation. Thank you for posting your experience and words of advice.
Unfortunately, I think this thread has taken a wrong turn:
This year, nearly 1,000 people have been killed in Juarez, Mexico, only an hour's drive from here. It's a strugle between rival gangs to control the flow of drugs. Recently, some of the drug gangs have even sent hit squads acrosss the border to take out US and Mexican citizens.
Yes, I have read about that, but El Paso is considerably closer to Juarez and it's the third safest city in the United States with a murder rate of 2.3 per 100,000 (that's about half the national average). The drug dealers love easy access to weapons and are completely undeterred by whether you have one or not; they are even undeterred by the fact that when they are invariably shooting one another, they're all armed.
It's not uncommon in western states to see folks carrying guns openly at some circumstances. No shots fired, no crime either.
If you want to know what deters a criminal, ask one. They will always say they won't go after someone they expect to be armed. They'll also tell you a dog is probably the best thing you can have to protect your home.
From what I see, gangbangers are heavily armed, and they are the most likely (by many, many orders of magnitude) to be killed in our society. I used to have guns when I lived in the country, they were stolen when I moved to a gang infested city; that's another problem with guns, they are the number one target of burglars and end up in the hands of the criminals.
In the United States suicides outnumber homicides by 5 to 3. You are considerably more likely to use a gun on yourself than have one used against you.