Guns are designed to KILL. All guns are ALWAYS loaded, cocked and ready to fire even if you just checked them to make sure they arn't. Never point a gun at something you don't want to KILL.
This is my new Springfield XD-40. Derived from the Croatian HS2000, the XD-40 is a very new gun, but has received excellent reviews. Some are calling it a possible safer Glock replacement (assuming it stands the test of time). It is very similar to a glock in may respects, but is all around heavier duty.
I found the XD easier (as a newbie) to shoot stock than my friend's modified .40 Glock 23.