Personally, I feel that if one lives someplace that it is so dangerous that a weapon is required under one's pillow then you have made a gross error in navigation. It is time to move.
And yet, Osprey, you and I both know that many folks living in the US are just that paranoid. They cling desperately to uncontrolled gun ownership. Hell, in Florida we've taken it a giant step further with so-called "stand your ground" laws that allow cold-blooded murderers to shoot their neighbors and avoid prosecution by claiming THEY FEARED their life was in danger. No proof of threat necessary, just a claim that they thought so. Pathetic. The sorriest case was a retired Tampa Police captain who shot a husband and father dead in front of his wife, in a crowded movie theater over a minor argument. What kind of vicious, paranoid fool (and ex-cop to boot) takes a loaded weapon to a movie theater? A proud 'Murrican, that's who. US gun attitudes are totally irrational. We pay a terrible toll in needless deaths every year and yet nothing changes, except for the worse. Sadly, some US ex-pats are carrying those sick attitudes with them wherever they go in the world. More ugly Americans!