I agree with this statement out of that link whole heartedly "it doesn't give a resounding endorsement to the state of today's government. It does, however, point to the fact that many in our so-called soft society aren't prepared to go quietly if it ever comes down to the fight or flight scenario." And it's not just the 'new shooters' that feel this way either!
Here's some bottom line information pulled from the NSSF report:
When discussing a gun with today's potential first-time buyer, practicality is paramount -and value is a major driver in their purchasing decision. Brand, caliber, style, options and power are - get ready for this one- secondary conditions relative to fit, quality and value.
Since first finding this site, a lot of good info on it. This is a good article. Just wish the whole report was availiable.
I also agree with the assement that "Fit" is one of if not the most important factor in selecting a firearm. In starting my wife and daughter out that was the main criteria to start. Having them shoot that size/style in various calibers was next. I know it's kind of hard for a lot of people to have access to a variety of different firearms to make that decision. You can handle them in a store, but to shoot them you have to know someone who has them and willing to let you try them out. A good place is a gun range that rents them. I know the one in Springfield, Mo. lets you change pistols for the same hourly range fee and pistol rental fee, just have to buy or bring the ammo.
Wife and daughter both thought that little palm sized .22 auto was a piece of cake, but the same thing in .380 was no fun. But go to a 2.5" snubby .38 +p and they both will punch the buttons on your shirt thru your chest at 7 yards.
I would like to add that the choices are not always limited to handguns. My wife, daughter and granddaughter have all tried various rifles & handguns and they can shoot them very well.
But - They all prefer a pump shotgun for home defense use. Size, weight, barrel length, balance, felt recoil and projectile are all factors to be considered, as with any weapon.
In fact, my sister, as well as a widow lady friend of ours, both prefer a shotgun over a handgun for HD use. In my world, at least, this seems to be the case.