OP - I think your thinking is correct. IMHO you prepare for the closest and most likely threats, and then work outward:
Priority 1 - concealed carry handgun; can also be used for home defense
Next - another handgun to back up the primary
Once that is settled, next is a home defense long gun. Do you NEED one? No. But a long gun is MUCH more effective at stopping someone quickly than a handgun is. Once your family is safely inside your designated safe room, a long gun is good to have to cover the door. Your spouse can cover the door with the handgun while you open the safe to get the long gun.
In our home, we have a Gunvault next to the bed for the handguns (we have kids too), and a larger safe in the corner for the long guns. My "cover the door" gun is a Remington 870 pump shotgun in 12 gauge.
Last priority is a rifle or carbine. In a temporary breakdown of law and order, you may need to defend yourself at longer range, outside your home. The probability of needing to do this, however, is rather low. That said, it has happened - Hurricane Andrew (I was there), Katrina, various riots, etc.
If you want a good fighting rifle that will not break the bank, consider a lever gun. Add an elastic butt cuff for extra ammo, and you are all set for anything short of all-out war. And, I'd rather shoot a .30-30 170 gr JSP than anything in .223 or 5.56.
Well, at the risk of sounding like a "prepper", after I saw the breakdown of society that occurred after Hurricane Katrina, I felt I "needed" certain bases covered. To cover some of those basis, I got myself an AR with a thousand NATO 5.56 rounds, a couple of Saiga 12 with a couple cases of 00buck shot, a Remington 700 in .308, and a few Glocks in 40 caliber with the 22 round extended mags (with the +2 additions on them) and weapon mounted tactical lights. I am not completely satisfied that all my bases are covered, but it's a good start. Ideally, I would like to have 2-3 AR's for me, my brother, and my father, 2 Saiga shotguns with 20 round drums, and several pistols that have interchangeable mags (one of the reasons I bought Glocks), with extra parts for each weapon, tactical lights and sights, and an abundance of ammo should if ever be necessary to patrol and protect one's neighborhood like they had to in Louisianna after Katrina.
I am fairly confident that a similiar storm won't be overlooked like Katrina was, but I am also sure there exists and abundance of natural and unnatural disasters that remain to show us how fragile civilization truly is.
Then don't get one if you don't see the need.
Personally, I truly do need one. As for letting it lay around for home defense, what are you doing different with your handgun that it's not just laying around but is faster to grab? If you're than concerned, throw the mags in a quick access handgun safe and keep the rifle near by.
Handguns are cute and great for carrying when there's no access to a long gun, but if it's possible to grab a rifle (or shotgun, for those guys), then I can't see any reason not to. The only advantage a handgun has is that it's easy to carry.
Don't get me wrong, I shoot handguns a few times a week and consider it the most important of my training, have many handguns and carry one every moment of the day, I just prefer rifles.
You need about 10 of them, because the next time they get banned they will quadruple in value. Because of the volume of them in the county they are the best thing to own, and keep running for interchangable parts, mags, and ammo, should things ever really turn bad. I hope that never happens, but I fear there are those that are trying to make it so.
Looking at the present rate of decay of society, I would say "yes" you need one. If not soon, then later.
If you dont understand that, then you dont need one at all.
My buddy was in the same predicament, he was having a hard time justifying an AR-15, since he likes being able to hunt with any gun he buys. He went to the gun store to look at one and came home with an Armalite AR-10 with a 10-40x54 scope. He's going to be building an AR-15 now.
If you don't think you need one then you don't. Get one because you want one. Or don't. Do I need an AR/ No. Am I glad I have one... certainly. I don't use my AR on a daily basis. It's not a part of my career and I don't carry one. So no, I don't need one.
I say, don't worry about "needing" different types of guns. Get them because you want them, or if you DO feel you need them. While guns are in every way shape and form tools for self defense and used in such manner every single day by people who NEED them, they are also great for recreation. If you can't justify buying one strictly for range use, then don't buy one. But I can almost guarantee, that if you bought one, You'll find a way to make it a defensive rifle and want to use it as such.
I don't have kids, but during the night, I keep a USP .45 in my nightstand and just keep the safe door open, which is two steps away, giving me access to any other firearm I want or need in any given situation. Chances are, you'll always grab what's closest and use it. And handguns are usually the easiest to keep close and with you every part of the day.
During the day while I'm away, everything goes in the safe and gets locked, except for the gun that follows me out the door. During the day, while I'm home, the safe stays open, and a handgun follows me around the house. If my sisters kids are over, I lock the safe, but still keep a pistol on my person. Ultimately, for you, I'd suggest buying a safe that will store MANY long guns, and start with an AR15.
Any good self defense battery needs to be well rounded, do you "NEED" an AR15? No. Should you have and practice with one? Absolutely.
Justify it like this you say I want it. That is all there is to it. Anyone as k why you bough such a thing you repeat I wanted it. That is the only statement no can argue you.
There darn little in this world you need.
I dont have any ar's I never needed them. Do I want one? dont know,havent made up my mind about whether I want one or not. A couple of my shooting buddies have over 20 of them so i can shoot them anytime, they are fun guns to shoot.If you got the extra cash go for it, dont justify a purchase with needing it if you want it get it.
I didn't need one. I bought a bushy carbine the day they voted on the AWB way back when. Then a friend wanted to shoot in DCM matches.
So after coaching and spotting for him for a couple months the guys started getting on my case about shooting. So I ordered up the parts and built myself an H-Bar Match model to shoot with. I am now building a carbine for my son.
Don't really "need" any of them. But the big park near my neighborhood has a range that goes to 600 yards so I can really "play" with mine more than some folks might be able to. If/when the zombies show up we will be ready for them.
They are fun to shoot.
You're a guy... You like guns ---> Yes, you need one. :yup:
The AR is handy, and a lot of fun, but I'm starting to subscribe more to the "10/22 and a bag full of 25 rd mags" mentality for SD/HD. You can send a pepper stream of .22LR downrange on target in fraction of the time. Of course, the frozen water bottles don't violently explode with .22LR like they do with .223/5.56 at 100 yds, but you can't buy 1000 rounds for $40 either.
I refer to this oldie: .22 LR Ammo Dump: 400 Rounds in 3 Minutes - YouTube