Some points to consider before purchasing your first (or second.. or third) firearm.
What is the main purpose of this firearm? There are many uses for a firearm; concealed carry for out in public, home defense against intruders, competitive shooting events, target practice. The primary purpose of the firearm may dictate what you want to look for; a large rifle is obviously not a good weapon for concealed carry, and buying a handgun for long rifle competitions would be equally as silly.
Do you know any friends with firearms? Most firearms owners are friendly, every day people. Many of them are happy to discuss any questions you may have. Some of them will even let you try out some of theirs to see if there is a particular make and/or model that you like. If that is not an option, some shooting ranges have rental guns that you can “try before you buy”.
Most importantly, are you ready for the responsibility of firearm ownership? This can not be stressed enough. Yes, guns are neat. Yes, guns are fun. Yes, guns are also deadly; as are cars, knives, hammers and even fists and feet. Firearms are not self-aware and are not capable of killing on their own; it takes an evil person, or a mistake, to cause a death. Because of this, it is of utmost importance that you treat your firearm(s) with the proper care and respect. This means locking them up when necessary, and taking the necessary safety precautions.