IANAL, but if memory serves, Cali is one of those places that requires an FFL-based transfer no matter what the circumstance. If that is the case, then you would need to pick out a local gun shop in your town, and one near your father in Cali, and arrange a transfer through them. Shop around, as the fees for this can definitely vary.
As far as the intended purpose, I'd really have to recommend keeping the .22 for yourself to plink with (or even giving it to them to plink and practice with) and have your father pick up something in a more beefy caliber locally. It's VERY true that any caliber is better than none, but I personally wouldn't even consider trusting my life or the life of a loved one to a .22 if given the option. 9mm or better in my book =)