I finally turn 21 tomorrow, so I'm finally legal to enjoy the finer things in life: alcohol and handguns (separately, of course). Instead of stumbling home tonight from the bars, I have a thesis and project proposal due in the AM [img]/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/mad.gif[/img] . So I wanted to post this and maybe you guys can help me out with some advice while I pound the keyboard all night.
On a very serious subject, a close friend of mine was attacked rather recently. She managed to escape without any physical harm, but psychologically it has been devastating. I offered to take a self-defense class with her to help her take hold of her own life and security again, and it finally looks that it's working. This is a relatively safe area, but that's also the mindset that got her into the situation she found herself in the first place. The bottom line: I do not want to become a victim. I have always held my own regarding personal protection but I want to know that I will be in control of the outcome in any scenario I face. Her experience raised some serious protection issues in my own head. I decided now is just as good as tomorrow to start educating myself on further protection, handguns, and firearm safety. Eventually, I would like to carry on a daily basis, but I can understand if the process to get to that point is slow.
I hope you guys can help guide me through the processes. I live in PA. I live off campus (I understand that you cannot carry on university property). My interaction with firearms has been in controlled environments at summer camps, to the extent of knowing that when you pull the trigger it goes bang. The questions I have are basic. What do I need to know? What should I look for in a handgun? How much should I expect to pay? What other fees and costs will I have to consider? What sort of permits will I have to pursue? What classes will I need to take and what do you recommend beyond the basics to be as safe as possible and as prepared as possible? I want to be as educated as I can before I put down for any sort of investment. Maybe you can help.
Anything you guys can share with me, anything at all, is really really appreciated.