All BS aside. Your standard 22 is not designed as a SD weapon, when you interject all the ifs, ands & buts. However, if you become proficient with "any" weapon and are comfortable and confident with its use you most certainly can "defend" yourself. The out-come of that defense might not be the best. More is usually better. I prescribe to the Glock 30 & Mossberg 500 philosophy.