Lead paint chips. A snacking staple at the Raleigh News & Observer for more than a century.

As a general rule of thumb, I refuse to read the Raleigh News & Observer, but everyone once in a while their editorial staff will go above beyond their normal vapid bloviating to new heights… or depths, depending on your point of view.

The N&O’s Ned Barnett has gone that “extra mile” in an op-ed blaming gun owners for buying guns that are then stolen by criminals.

Yes, he’s quite serious. You shouldn’t wear such a revealing outfit young lady, you asked to be raped.

The growing number of law-abiding Americans who feel compelled to arm themselves is feeding the flow to criminals. Perhaps the phrase should be revised: If guns are outlawed, outlaws would have a harder time finding and affording guns.

Mike Tilley, who owns the Personal Defense and Handgun Safety Center in Raleigh, said three of his customers, including a law enforcement officer, recently had guns stolen from their cars. But Tilley said gun thefts from cars is a perverse effect of so many venues banning guns. If gun owners could carry their handguns into more settings, he argues, they wouldn’t have to leave them in their cars.

Tilley said the problem isn’t just guns left in cars. It’s the people who break into cars and then are put back on the street. “There have to be consequences,” he said.

Long prison sentences for breaking into a car would be expensive and unfair, especially because there’s no serious penalty for someone who leaves their Glock in the glove compartment and it gets into a criminal’s hands.

Yes, Barnett really thinks that citizens who store their legally-owned property in their own vehicles should face criminal charges for doing so, while opining that putting the criminals who steal guns those guns in prison for extended periods of time would be “expensive and unfair.”

You can’t make this stuff up, folks, but what do you expect from a newspaper that helped rally the Ku Klux Klan/Democrat Party  to carry out the only successful coup in American history?