First off let me say WELCOME.
Start off with a .22 for a few good reasons. Bigger caliber handguns have more bark and recoil. I have seen this more than once, some jackass loads a .357 with magnum loads or some other type of higher power handgun, gives it to the newbie...BOOM. This jackass is laughing, the newbie is shaken up and all I can think to myself is we just lost another hopefull to our sport. Recoil from the bigger calibers, being that your new may give you bad habits i.e. flinching, anticipating, etc. a .22 should help minimize this. In your post you said "can I join the club", is their a gun club near you or do you have friends who would let you safely practice with a .22? Get training in proper usage of your weapon, their are NRA training classes all over the place. Then practice and practice often, one of the benifits of a .22 is low cost ammo. Low cost ammo equals low cost practice. You'll find out a .22 has a tendency when your practicing or plinking to put a great big
on your face. They are just plain fun, enjoy.