I mean no disrespect or disparagement, but you seem to think that you are the very first, or only, person to ask this question.
You are not.
Please check out the following discussions already in progress (start from the very beginning, and read the whole thing):
newb needs help choosing first handgun
60 yr old rookie with first LTC needs handgun advice
Please also read the following advice to beginners (once again, read the whole thing):
Newbie to guns? Need help? Where to start?
FAQ for New Shooters
Then use the "search" function, to find more specific information.