From 15 yards
This morning I drove to Gun Craft in Ruskin for some target practice with my handgun. I like to go when I have vacation days during the week, because it's likely I'll be the only one there. This morning there were several local guys there who are part of a local sportsmen club. At least two were retired New York City police officers and another was a first time shooter taking a firearms familarization course.
Here's a list of shooting ranges throughout the state: Florida Gun Club List
Please don't mistake this posting for a pro-gun article meant to influence you one way or the other. You can choose to own a gun, or choose not to. I grew up in a rural community where my friends did a lot of hunting for squirrels, rabbits, coyotes, deer, and turkeys. We had guns in our house too. My dad had a .22 rifle, a .410 shotgun, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a .357 revolver. I will say that if you choose to own guns, learn how to handle them safely and teach all who reside in your home how to handle them safely.
Here are a couple of pictures of my Ruger SP-101. It's a 5-shot revolver that will fire in either single-action (by cocking the hammer prior to pulling the trigger) or double action (by pulling the trigger alone). It fires .38 Special caliber and .357 caliber ammunition. The difference is the power behind the round, the length of the cartridge and of course the blow-back and noise when it's fired. The SP-101 has a 3-inch barrel, rubber hand grips, and is physically small enough that my wife can also hold it and fire .38 Special rounds comfortably.
Whether or not you choose to carry a handgun outside your home for self-defense purposes, I do recommend that you take a Concealed Weapons Training Course. This course enables you to apply for a concealed carry permit from the State of Florida, but also teaches you a lot of things you need to know to be a responsible gun owner. Permits are issued by the Commissioner of Agriculture and there are specific rules and regulations you must follow to qualify for and retain the permit.
A note from the current Commissioner, Charles Bronson: