Certainly they have recommendations. For example, they might recommend a particular gun for certain circumstances. However, they do not tell you what you should do. They are just recommendations. If someone has no experience with guns and feel they need one, I would recommend that get some training and advice from a NRA certified instructor. As far as a discussion of a shotgun versus a pistol for home defense, they both have advantages and disadvantages. Choosing one or the other requires knowledge of those advantages and disadvantages and the particular circumstances.