my 2¢ on two guns that EVERYONE should have:
A good 22LR semi auto pistol. 4"-6" barrel. Ruger MkII or MkIII, Browning
Buckmark, S&W 41 if you have money to burn.
A 4" medium frame .357 Magnum with adjustable sights. I'm partial
to S&W mdl 19's, some like stainless or Ruger. Shoot anything from
bunny fart "cowboy" loads to full house 357 screamers---all good.
I love 1911's, but if I were going to add a third to the "must have"
list, it would be a Glock 17. Dirt simple, has less moving parts than
a staple gun. Shoots probably the most common centerfire handgun
caliber in the world. A tool that anybody can pick up and figure out
how to make it go bang.