welcome to the forum jbok, good to have you hear. If your first time shooter please see a range that offers some basic instruction. It's always to get a good foundation before you begin. We don't want anything to happen to ya you just got here.
Welcome from Alabama! If you are new to guns period, take a gun safety course, no doubt. You will learn some valuable information that just simply "can't be told to you". Hands on experience is the best method, no question. My training consisted of wheel guns (revolvers) with experienced people growing up, military and then, semi's. Congrats and you be happy and feel much safer after some good knowledge from a good instructor. Also, it's a great way to meet fellow gun owners!