"I take it by your post that your state does not require any proof of safe gun handling or proficiency in being able to hit a target."
Neither does the Commonwealth require proof of proficiency before marrying and having children.
And I certainly don't believe that passing the little old driving test at DMV proves anybody is a good driver.
I can almost believe that a class requiring only 50 rounds of ammo allows some people to graduate with the idea that they're trained. They have a certificate that says they are, but they really aren't.
There are many ways to meet the training requirement for a handgun permit in Virginia. Proof of previous training, a hunter ed class, etc. It's all about the idea of learning to think about what you are doing and where you point the gun. The class isn't about learning to shoot; it's about learning when not to shoot and how to be careful.