Owning and knowing how to use any gun is better than no gun. I advise this a lot and catch flack for it. I often suggest that people get a 22 as their first gun so they can afford to practice and build up skills. But there are lots of people out there who suggest if you don't have a 45 or a military pattern "battle rifle", you may as well be unarmed.
It's very common at the range to see new shooters with guns they can't shoot accurately. While I work ammo into my "fun" budget, lots of people don't, and that's OK. I recently went to the range with a friend who has been shooting a long time. He brought his fancy name brand centerfire pistol and was shooting a 10" pattern at 25 feet. I handed him my 22, and he proceeded to hit the 10 ring repeatedly at the same distance at 1 second or less intervals. With which gun is that particular person more dangerous? Hitting your target is always the most important thing.
But the purpose of this article is to showcase that if you own a gun for self-defense, any gun, and know how to use it, you are likely better armed than an average criminal. I'm not suggesting you are better armed and trained than a drug cartel, or a professional hit man, or the local motorcycle gang. But you are very likely better armed and better trained than the average thug on the street that is going to try to mug you or the average thief breaking into your home. As reference, here is a breakdown of typical guns confiscated from criminals. Take some time and read over the data there.
Look at how many guns weren't loaded, does that surprise you? Look at how many guns were in poor condition, jamming immediately or before they could fire 3 rounds. Lots of criminals buy junk guns off the street. They don't know how to operate these guns. They don't know what sort of working condition they are in. They can't practice with them since many urban areas lack public ranges, and it increases the risk of them getting caught with a stolen gun. As seen in this report some of them don't even know how to match ammunition to the gun.
I'm not suggesting that you boldly walk about in bad neighborhoods looking for an opportunity to outshoot some hapless bad guy. I am suggesting that if you train with your firearm you will likely have an advantage if the terrible day comes where you have to use a gun to defend yourself. That knowing how to operate your gun and how to shoot well may very well be all the advantage you need should you be attacked. That's a comforting thought.
To help I've written past posts about selecting guns. Being at the first spot on either of these lists puts you ahead of most criminals, so don't fret if you don't have the best gun or the best training. If you have a gun and have put in the time so you know how to use it, that may very well be enough to give you the advantage on the day when it matters most.