Originally Posted by kuslamb
All the replies are very helpful. I understand how difficult my question is to answer as few details are offered and its such a personal taste.
I foresee having a few guns. I have really enjoyed shooting in the past so feel that once I get comfortable with the weapons, range, etc... I think I will shoot somewhat frequently. Price is of course a concern, but not a major one.
From what I have read, 9mm is popular for the reasons previously mentioned - affordable, readily available, easy to shoot. I think I may head this way.
I would say my most pressing concern is safety. I have a 3 year old child + one due in a month. As such, I have actually researched heavily on the quick release safes (fingerprint, combination) as well as other safety mechanisms. It appears there is always a trade off between safety and accessibility.
If you are worried about the safety of your young child, but you still want quick access, you could consider a GunVault safe. I think the simple model (MiniVault http://www.gunvault.com/handgun-safes/minivault.html/
) with just a finger combination should work well for you. You could mount it inside a closet, at a height comfortable for you, and retain accessibility even in the dark (a sequence of finger taps is easy without looking), and you could mount a light on the pistol if that's a concern. It would be out if sight and out of the reach of your child, even if he tried to get to it. It also keeps it discrete, which matters for people other than your child.
Now, in the long-run, I'd recommend getting your child comfortable with the safe operation of firearms and the respect therefor. Then, you can share in the hobby together, and if you feel it's a home defense concern, you'll be training your own backup. Mainly, though, it's great to get people coming into contact with guns in a nurturing and respectful manner, rather than being ignorantly fearful of them in later years. They don't have to adopt them in their lives, but, when explored safely, it can be a worthwhile, and mind opening, experience.