Cocked-and-locked. Nothing like getting ready for Sunday morning worship by reading (and writing) gun posts. I probably fit every Christian fundamentalist stereotype ever dreamed up by the people who run NPR. (Although I prefer pro and college footbal to NASCAR.)
Anyway, I do not carry a semi-automatic, but instead a revolver. That's a safe thing for a beginner to do.
However, I am interested in semi-automatics. My friend Jack has a Glock as his service weapon, a 1911 from his Navy days, and a Walther PC something as his backup. I have shot them all, and they are much more comfortable to shoot than my little .38 special. My friend Joe also has Glocks but he swears by his Sig P220. This past week, I have been talking to him over the air on how the semi's fire, particularly how the safety mechanisms work.
This link discusses the merits of the 1911's safety system. The 1911 is a design that goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, and to this day the merits of the design continue to drive the market. I would like to own one.