A handgun is a reactive defensive tool that's only redeeming value is its size.
a shotgun is a sporting weapon pressed into service as a combat arm and is pretty effective within its range and penetration limitations.
When you know you are going to a fight and you want to be able to stop it, you take a rifle.
When you are not planning on getting into a fight AND you can't carry a rifle you compromise and carry a handgun. Notice the AND. When you're not planning on getting into a fight and you CAN carry a rifle you should do so.
Two Aliens and well endowed Earthling
5 minutes ago