We are without doubt living in the decline and fall of Western Civilization. The Barbarians are not at the gate, they are at your front door. Unfortunately/Fortunately we are not yet so far fallen as to warrant open warfare but alas watching your personal itel sources will reveal that we are close.
Until the time comes when the social norm includes an M4 and plate carrier we have to survive and thrive while being a bit more modest. For those living in the urban areas out to the border environment, I suggest the first item you acquire for defense be a handgun.
A handgun is in my opinion the one survival weapon to have when you can have only one. Why? Simply because unless you live on Kodiak Island, your most likely threat will be two-legged not four. And as such you will want your primary weapon to be concealable on your person.
Before you run out and buy a hi capacity 9mm or a custom 1911, you need to evaluate your situation and some factors that you should consider are:
Environment: (Semi Rural, Suburban, or Urban?)
Environment: Seasonal temperatures
Environment: Is CCW available and lawful
Environment: Work attire/expectations
Selection of the primary handgun should force you into some deep thought and reflection based on these environmental variables. If you live in Miami and work in shorts and a t-shirt, then a full size Beretta 92 might not be a good choice. If you live in an area where carry of weapons is illegal, but you have decided your life is worth just as much as those who make the laws and have armed guards, then deep concealment of a 5″ 1911 is not a good plan.
So this becomes a very personal and environmental based decision and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. I know folks that pack Glock 19’s daily, and I know people who carry nothing more than a Seecamp .32. It comes down to whatever works for your life, the important aspects are that:
It is comfortable enough to have ALL-THE-TIME
It is reliable
It is easily maintained
It is economical to practice with
You practice with it regularly
Once you have acquired your primary survival gun, you can build a system on top of it, including holsters, lights etc. Oh and when you do decide on YOUR survival handgun buy two! In the event you must use your survival handgun in a self-defense scenario, it will be confiscated by the police until at least after a grand jury decides on any charges etc. You do not want to unarmed during that time.
We are living in interesting and dangerous times, you might find yourself in the midst of violent action, initiated by a myriad of possible antagonists at any moment, and what you have on your person at that time is likely all you will have to escape the situation and survive.