Although I think that human beings have the moral and constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and that (as John Lott has shown) more guns mean less crime, I am not a gun owner. Yet. This weekend I started educating myself about handguns. I've found the Handgun Information Page (created by Chuck Hawks) to be extremely useful, with helpful pages about good guns for beginners, a guide to gun types, information about buying used guns (I always prefer to buy major items used if at all possible), and much more. Janis Cortese's handgun info page is also good. Hawks makes a compelling argument that a good target gun (.22 LR caliber) is the place to start, even though such a gun is not the one you'd want to be using in a defensive situation (the first priority at the beginning is to learn to shoot straight!). The Ruger P512 and KP512 seem like good target guns based on my research. Handguns from Glock get uniformly high reviews; though it seems they don't make a .22 caliber target gun, they do make fine weapons in higher calibers (both full size and compact). Massad Ayoob recommends .45 caliber handguns, such as the Glock 21 and Glock 30, but it seems that's not the place to begin given the recoil of large-caliber handguns. I've also started looking into training courses such as those offered by Colorado Safearms Academy and Fred Behnken (who seems to come up to Denver from Albuquerque). The NRA maintains a list of such training courses, too.
I'm still mostly ignorant when it comes to guns (as it seems most people are), which is a shame considering the importance of knowing how to defend oneself. But at least I'm slowly making progress in moving from ignorance to knowledge.
Peter Saint-Andre > Journal