Recent history has witnessed several incidents in which good men have armed themselves with a rifle to intercept an active threat not in their own home, but in their neighborhood or vicinity. Stephen Williford, hero of the Texas Church massacre, comes to mind. So does the man who stopped an active shooter in his apartment complex in ——–. Unfortunately, this is now a thing. For centuries, a rifle has proven an essential tool on the farm or homestead, most often needed to terminate pests or predators after livestock. Most who live in urban or suburban environments have been more inclined towards a pistol or shotgun in the home, as the idea of needing extended range offered by the rifle is not considered. Times have changed.
I would submit that a rifle, kept ready in the home, is a good idea regardless of whether it factors into defense of the home itself. If you prefer a shotgun for defending the house, keeping a rifle handy in case you need to reach out beyond the home, is a consideration. If you need to zap a mass killer down the block or across the street, you will want a rifle to do it. A neighbor to the Uvalde, Texas, school that was attacked saw the killer wandering around the school, shooting at it, before making entry. I would submit that the neighborly thing to do if you live near a school and witness such a thing would be to grab your scoped file and make short work of the monster.
With this in mind, a rifle kept for such defensive purposes needs to be quickly deployable and self-contained. If needed, times is of the essence. You are not likely to don body armor and put extra magazines on. The gun should have everything necessary on it. It does not need to be an AR15, thought that remains a great choice. A lever action rifle may well suffice, or a bolt action rifle. Optics are a force multiplier. Putting extra ammunition on the gun, especially if it is limited in capacity, is sound. A bolt gun or lever gun can get a full reload in the form of a butt cuff ammo carrier. A light is a good idea on any defensive long gun.
The handgun remains the primary tool of immediate self-protection against unexpected violence, but we live at a time when a rifle should be kept at the ready in the home for use beyond the walls, just in case.