I remember when, as a kid, my folks had to leave anything valuable in the car. They made sure it was out of sight and made damn sure the car was locked before walking away. It was just common sense. I mean, who wouldn’t do that when they leave something valuable in the car?

Hell, who doesn’t lock their car when they get out even if there’s nothing of value? If nothing else, the car is of value.

Yet that attitude is apparently less common than one might believe.

Eight out of nine guns stolen within Palm Beach County’s major police jurisdictions over a seven-month period of 2019 didn’t come from homes or businesses.

In suburban West Palm Beach, a gun owner returned to his unlocked vehicle to discover that someone had stolen his 9 mm pistol from the back seat.

West of Boca Raton, someone took a semi-automatic 9 mm pistol from the center console of a vehicle in a home’s driveway.

And in Wellington, a semi-automatic pistol vanished from a vehicle parked in front of an apartment building.

Those were a few examples of a 2019 trend that has law-enforcement officers wary. Guns were stolen from cars eight times more often than they were from homes, according to statistics provided by Palm Beach County’s largest law-enforcement agencies.

In many cases, potential access to a weapon was a mere tug of a car-door handle away, with thieves targeting residential driveways, city parking garages and hotel parking lots, among other locations, records show.

Allow me to reiterate something I’ve written time and time again.

Seriously, who leaves a gun in their car with the doors unlocked? Guns aren’t really inexpensive items you don’t think about. Even the least expensive ones are over $100, yet no one would think of leaving a $100 bill laying around. Most guns cost far more than that.

And yet, people seem to not think twice about not just leaving it in their car, but not even locking the doors, apparently.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you get gun control laws. This is how anti-gunners find it so easy to brush off mention of “responsible, law-abiding gun owners.” This is what they see.

Now, is this the majority of gun owners? Of course not. It’s a relatively small minority.

Yet the minority will paint the majority in a negative light unless the majority does something to combat it. That means telling people to lock their damn doors or, better yet, take their guns inside at night. The last thing any of us need to do is allow ourselves to be so careless that we help arm the criminals of our communities.

As it stands, several places have passed laws against leaving guns in unlocked cars. This happens because too many people are being too careless with their guns. While I oppose these laws, we also have an opportunity to prevent them by policing our own.

Lock your doors. Carry your gun inside at night. Don’t arm bad people.

How is this so damn difficult for some folks?