The cost depends on where you are located and the types of competition you which to engage in. I suggest that you search the web for IPSC and IDPA matches in your area. Most of these welcome new members and often hold a training class to learn the basics so that you can and everyone else be safe. If you are in the Portland Oregon area, Tri-County Gun Club offers IPSC and Bullseye matches along with introductions and classes to start. RangeMaster in Memphis TN. has regular IDPA matches and practice nights to learn the basics. I am fairly sure that there are places near you (unless you live in rural states i.e. N. Dakota, where it might be hard to find one close by).
"I have no issues with people of all types being here, I do have a problem with the more extreme ends of any spectrum trying to dominate and push out moderates and opposites." Bill Plein