hi! for starters, take your girlfriend to the range to try out diffrent guns from the .22lr to the 12ga. the good ole pump gun isn't so bad as i've had a few girls fire an armscor pump and these women never had ANY experience with firearms! it actually got them addicted to shooting and wanted to have a go with a shotgun again. the lady smith snubbies seem like a good choice but then again, these guns do require a certain level of marksmanship due to the 5-shot capacity although the DA-triggers of revolvers do make it safe for the novice. for me, with enough training--a 9mm glock say the 19 or 17 would make a good choice. the tanfoglios are also nice to shoot and fit the budget nicely if not totally concealable or if only for domestic security. but do check out a full-butt 12ga and load it with #9 shot and see magic happen! this would still be my choice for home defense!