I am looking to purchase my first firearm for personal protection. From the limited online research I have done so far, I think I might be looking for a semiautomatic (easy to refire) 38 caliber (minimum that can be effective?) SA (if this is safer when the gun is not in use - is it?) weapon. Basically, I would like a firearm that is as modest as possible but works. I do not have children in the home or any record, but may be moving to another state that's a bit more restrictive than my current one. PLEASE help with some guy/gal opinions! The men in my social circle can't and don't want to help me anyway because of political objections, so I need some real practical advice. I don't want to head to the shop and be overwhelmed, cuz at this point it looks like I'll be going there alone. Thanks soo much for any help!!!