There's a whole range of human activity. The simple fact is that 60% of the population, given the opportunity to do so undetected, will steal. 15% or so are willing to steal even with detection and 8% or so are willing to use violence up to and including lethal force.
The distribution of crimes by that 8% is interesting. If you just count the crimes, they're almost entirely in inner city areas. However, if you balance for population per square mile, there is a different trend that forms: violent crime occurs generally in the most highly and most lowly populated areas.
People tend to get into violent confrontations when they're crammed in like sardines, or when the chance of encountering someone is low.
Rural crime is the type of crime we're talking about here. It's got some characteristics about it that are common, and inform us:
The attacker is usually armed or otherwise prepared for confrontation, but trying to avoid it. They are most likely are trying to steal property. They are opportunists.
When carrying out their acts, these people generally do not confront people but are surprised by them. At this point they have a choice: subdue you or withdraw. The probabilities of which path they choose depend on when they were detected: if they were detected at a remote distance and they know you outnumber or outweight the force they can bring, they almost always
withdraw - often undetected. However, once they have entered a property, they usually are in a highly agitated state, with adrenalin running high. The fight or flight decision goes the opposite way.
It is in these types of confrontations that most killings or injuries occur.
So the question then becomes: how do you avoid the latter type of confrontation and transform it into the former?
When people say dogs or lights, they're really saying "extending my senses." If you know earlier that your territory is being intruded upon, you can alter the outcome. If you can let them
know the same, they will almost always withdraw.
Dog are a rewarding way to do this, and so are motion sensing lights. There are now many 12v
sensors designed to operate LEDs.
What other techniques and devices, besides guns, can also be helpful?