Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The land of Enchantment
If my objective were recreation, I would start with a pellet rifle. It is a lot of fun, and good for protection against rattle snakes. :) You can buy a decent one for less than 200 bucks, and pellets are dirt cheap. If money is no object, pellet guns are still super fun. For self protect, I'd go with the pistol of your choice, but it takes a lot of practice to get reasonably accurate and the ammo isn't cheap.
There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.