Not 100 percent certain what those gun shop guys mean by “magazine”? Don’t be embarrassed; everyone has to start somewhere. The key is first understanding that it’s perfectly okay to be new to firearms. Don’t be intimidated by the tremendous amount of information out there when you begin your journey. There are plenty of great sources of information to get you started. (My personal favorite, of course, is this website. *Wink*.) Books, magazines, YouTube, the NRA, and other pro-2nd Amendment organizations are great starting points. But possibly the most valuable resources are people. The firearms community is filled with responsible people who are happy to help. Not everyone grows up around firearms, and most gun enthusiasts recognize that. The firearms community is a very welcoming one.
Who do I talk to?
Do you have friends who shoot? That’s a good place to start. Many local gun/sporting goods stores and local shooting ranges offer training and safety classes, and have employees who will help you. If they don’t, find another location. Most are helpful and friendly. A certified training instructor is a great place to start. Check online for local shooting clubs and events. IDPA, 3-gun, and cowboy-action shooting are all popular and should be easy to access. It seems there’s always someone in the firearms community who’s happy to share their knowledge and experience with you.
Turn to the net.
The internet is another excellent source of information. Want to read a gun review or see someone shooting? It’s there. Want advice and opinions? Forums galore. Not everything you read will be correct, but if you spend enough time researching, you will see patterns and a general consensus on most topics. There’s lots of useful information on firearms and how to operate and maintain them as well as info on other things related to self defense. Be a sponge. Soak it up. Why? Because it’s fun and learning is always good!
Don’t be a recluse. Get out there, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you’ll learn and the friends you’ll meet. For instance, my father belongs to the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS). They have events that are like trips into the Old West. I’d never shot in an event and didn’t really know anyone when I went. I couldn’t believe how friendly and helpful everyone was. People were lending me belts, holsters, and guns so I could try it out. When my dad’s shotgun broke, someone let us use theirs for the remainder of the match. I arrived that day feeling out of place, but left with a smile on my face and a bunch of new friends.