You can go from no guns to having more capabilities than most gun owners by acquiring the following weapons:
-A 12-gauge shotgun with a swappable rifled barrel and a set of barrel 'chokes.' The rifled barrel will allow for longer-range shots, and the chokes will allow you to fire different sizes of shells. This is probably the FIRST weapon that gun noobs should get, due to its cheapness and versatility. The main types of shotgun ammo are birdshot (small pellets), buckshot (large chunks), and slugs (solid mass of metal). With a box of each, you can hunt and shoot all kinds of stuff.
-A handgun (semiauto or revolver) chambered for a common defensive round like 9mm, 45ACP, etc. People get incredibly autistic about the specifics, but it's more important that you practice with the weapon you intend to use. Get a simple holster for it so you can carry it on your person.
-A semiautomatic rifle which fires a common medium-range caliber like 223/556 or AK ammunition. .22 is a bit small. This is a general defensive and target-shooting rifle.
-An actual .22LR or combo .22LR/L/S rifle for smaller game and target shooting, with a scope. Doesn't need to be semiautomatic; there are plenty of good lever/bolt-actions in this caliber.
-A pellet gun which can fire the common .177 or .22 caliber pellet rounds, for quiet shooting of small pests and backyard target shooting that won't bother neighbors. These things are surprisingly useful.
-A more powerful hunting rifle with scope. Something like a .308/30-06. If you want somewhat more power, go for a .375 Ruger or H&H rifle, which can handle literal elephants if necessary. This rifle will reliably drop larger mammals at a reasonable distance (longer than your shotgun's rifled barrel).
-A black powder muzzleloader for .50 caliber, which satisfies every state's black powder gun requirements for hunting. This is more of a niche item, but given that new muzzleloaders are only a few hundred dollars, it's not a bad deal.