for me, it depends on the gun, target, and conditions. In a darkened house at night, a laser is superior on a small semi-auto pistol, even on some revolvers. The laser points instantly and shows up bright. For that, the laser is superior. Gave a S&W revolver with CrimsonTrace grips to my daughter for her home protection and she likes it.
Outside in bright sunlight, the laser is no good for me beyond about 10yds maximum. On a black target the laser dot is even harder to see.
For outside target or even hunting small game, a red dot scope is a big help. Popped a rabbit eating my garden with one shot with a red dot on my .22 pistol at 20yds. Doubt I could do that with with my 83 yr old eyes using open sights offhand.
For 50yd pistol competion, for me, an optical scope far exceeds a red dot. Same with a rifle. YMMV.
However, my most accurate handgun using iron sights is my Blackhawk .357mag. 6-1/2" for cowboy type shootouts that we sometimes have. No "scopes" of anykind permitted! At close range up to 10yds rapid fire I can thumb the hammer and stay in the 10ring. Wouldn't even consider a reddot for that.
So, it 'depends'!
og, who is an older 'fart' than Jim