Re: .22 rifle vs. .38 handgun
I think that using energy as the determining factor doesn't tell the whole picture as energy is velocity dependent. A 38 special has a heavier bullet with a larger diameter and will penetrate to a vital whereas a 22 LR is problematic for penetration. The 38 was the LE cartridge for many years and can still do the job with the right bullet. Where the police ran into problems was with penetration through car windshields and other barriers and found it would not do the job under those circumstances. For use as a home defense firearm I feel the 38 Spl would be entirely adequate and even better than many more powerful, loud with high muzzle flash cartridges. If I were going to use it I would use the old 158 gr LSWC-HP +P FBI loads.
NRA and NAHC Life
"Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms." -Aristotle