Start out with all safety training etc..
The first pistol to build your shooting skill with is the RUGER MK II or Ruger MK III .22 LR.
The Ruger .22 LR pistol is built like a tank.
Buy a used Ruger and shoot it until it is second nature. 1,500 - 2,000 rounds of cheap ammo.
At this point you can sell the Ruger or keep it for fun and practice.
I never feel under gunned with a Ruger .22 LR and laser grips. You will hit your target every time.
For home or personal protection I use a Ruger Bisley revolver and or a Taurus Tracker in .45 COLT.
The revolver will always go BANG if you need it.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruger_MK_III