The Safe

I don’t often think about it, but I noticed it this morning when I got coffee. I saw the safe. It’s really not much of a safe. You wouldn’t need to be a renown cat burglar to crack it. It would really only deter the very unmotivated. All you’d have to do is some minor finagling that I saw on the internet and its contents would spill open.

Anyway, would you like to see what’s inside?

IMG_0647This is exactly how it appeared when I opened it. I didn’t arrange anything for the picture.

What you see there is most of the tangible things I have of value. There’s $40 emergency cash, the spare clicker thing for my car (though it doesn’t click), my identifying documents buried underneath, and all the jewelry I’ve collected over the years, most of which are family heirlooms and not worth all that much.

IMG_0650The box on the left contains various (severely tarnished) rings. Some of them are mine, some are hand-me-downs. The ring in the front right of the box on the left is my grandmother’s Cornell ring.

In the middle is my grandfather’s pocket watch. It still works, and I used to use it for its intended purpose, but I’ve stopped for fear of anything happening to it. Besides, I’ve moved from pocket to wristwatches.

The box on the right contains two rings that I got when my grandmother died. I forget the significance and history of these rings, but both of them are too small for me to wear, so they stay locked up in a box in my safe.

Really, the only reason I have a safe is because of this:

IMG_0651That is a CZ 75 B semi-automatic 9mm handgun. In California, gun owners are required to store firearms locked up, either with a trigger lock on the gun or in a locked container, e.g., a safe. There are never any children running around my house, but I’d rather not worry about it, just on the off-chance. I doubt your average child could crack my safe without serious determination and there wouldn’t be an unsupervised, determined child in my house anyway.

According to their website: “CZ 75 B is used by more governments, militaries, police and security agencies than any other pistol in the world.”

I’m not sure how true that claim is, but I did a lot of research before I bought a handgun and it is true that the CZ 75 B is used by a ton of law enforcement agencies outside of America, where it’s not very popular at all.

I got that model for a number of reasons. It’s beloved by almost everyone who has one (including me); though it’s of similar quality and design, it’s cheaper than a Beretta 9mm; its slide-in frame has less recoil than most guns in its class; it fits my hand perfectly; and even though I shoot right-handed (my right eye is better than my left), they make a left-handed version for a measly $16 more. I support any manufacturer that realizes that not everyone in the world is right-handed and makes a separate product for us lefties for a nominal surcharge.

My CZ also has glow in the dark sights, a feature Male was all excited about when he got his $2500 Les Baer Thunder Ranch 1911. He was a little crestfallen when he realized my $600 CZ had them, too. Though his fancy .45 had real maple-wood grips whereas mine are plastic. I’ve been meaning to upgrade them to rubber.

Unlike Glocks, my gun is all steel (except for the grips obviously), and the tolerances are so fine that you can’t even slip a piece of paper between the rails. Glocks tend to get loose with use. You can shake them in your hand and they rattle. After eight years of use, mine is still tight.

If you can’t tell, I’m not a fan of Glocks. Besides their plastic parts, general boxy ugliness, and lack of panache, I don’t like the macho culture associated with them. They are not a lady’s handgun.

Hello, No, I'm not a box; I'm a handgun. (
Hello, No, I’m not a box; I’m a handgun.

I don’t often think about what it means to have that hunk of metal in my room. I forget it’s even there most of the time. At close range, say the innards of my house, my gun is fully capable of killing.

I’ve never killed anyone or anything, unless you count houseplants, flies and the fish I caught as a kid. I have no intention of killing a person and I hope I never have to.

Throughout my life, monsters have come for me when I’m most vulnerable–in my asleep. A pedophile dragged me out of bed when I was a child and a domestic abuser dragged me out of bed as an adult. When you’re constantly dragged out of bed by monsters, it makes it pretty difficult to sleep soundly. I have a gun for security purposes, because it helps me sleep at night, just like the big (mean sounding, but really a sissy) dog and the baseball bat stowed behind my pillows.

Knowing that, if a monster came for me again, I could defend myself helps me sleep. While the other 500 rounds or so of ammunition in my safe are cheap target stuff, I do have one box of this:


Those, my friends, are expanding hollow point rounds, in other words, kill shot. They’re designed to bloom like a flower when they hit something.

If you encounter one of those pretty much anywhere on your person in the close quarters of my bedroom, it will severely dampen your enthusiasm to continue the illegal activities you may have had in mind. Placed correctly, it will stop you forever and I can hurl ten of those at you really, really fast. Odds are that least one in ten will do the job, even if I am all panicky. Each one of those rounds costs about a dollar. It only costs a dollar to kill.

As an aside of pet-peevish nomenclature: a bullet is only the projectile part (the flower thing pictured above), while the entirety of un-fired ammunition is called a round or cartridge:


Ten rounds of kill shot are loaded in the magazine stored in my gun. If I lived outside of California, it would be sixteen rounds, but California has arbitrary ten round maximum laws. When I go to the gun range, I unload the ten kill shot rounds and when I get back, I load them up again. I always have ten ways to kill at the ready. All I have to do is open the safe and fire. Since I have glow in the dark sights, I don’t even need any light to do it. So, if you’re looking at the pictures of my goodies and the inadequate safe that houses them, and getting some ideas, I’d think again.

A safe is an apropos thing to call the box that houses my gun since what’s stored inside of it does, in fact, make me feel safe. Or safer, anyway.

So, that, my dears, is the contents of my safe. I wish I didn’t have need for one at all. I wish my sense of safety was internal and wasn’t dependent on metal. I wish the word “safe” was an adjective for me and not a noun.