Beastmode. What did your dad decide on? just kinda curious is all.
If he really feels it can;t happen to him, and wants to go with a pistol with a trigger lock, I would say get a dog. That way, there will be some advanced warning, which will buy him more time in a panic situation. Besides, a dog, even a small one, makes a good deterent for most criminals. The true bright side to it is, that the dog doesn't need a gun to stop a threat.
IMHO, a 12 gauge shotgun would be much better than a handgun for HD. A few years back, there was a study in which criminals in prison were asked what gun and person combo they would be most likely to back down from. The choices were:
1: Male with a handgun.
2: Female with a handgun.
3: Male with a rifle.
4: Female with a rifle.
5: Male with a shotgun.
6: Female with a shotgun.
I don't remember the exact numbers, but I know that either of the sexes with a shotgun was the #1 "Oh Sh!T!"
or "I'm outta here!"
choice with over 70% of criminals saying they would bolt or comply with the home owner's demands. Kinda hard to argue those numbers. If he goes for a shotgun, i suggest a pump action. There is no better way to say "Wrong house" then the racking of said shotgun sending a round into the chamber. Trust me, it is a very scary sound to hear in a dark house. Even if you belong there.