alright I have not read the entire thread so I apologize ahead of time but...
1. there should not be any set prerequisite training for buying a gun, that's just asking for someone to pitch in an effort to make it harder for law abiding citizens to buy guns.
2. no two people learn the same. I'm a kind of guy that learns best, hands on with an instructor. on the other hand I've seen people that bumble an fumble their way to a failing score in instructor led courses only to read a book and instantly pick up a set of principles.
3. gun buddies help a lot but everyone is biased and have yet to meet anyone that doesn't talk out their rears about something firearms related, depending on the person and their hind end topics, this can severely undermine a newbs progress.
I recommend a good combination of whatever you learn best with.
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the stuff people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin