This week our nearest Wal-Mart was still chronically out of the more affordable full metal jacketed loads in 9X19 NATO, and all forms of .22 rimfire. My interpretation of this is that the general public remains deeply concerned about gun control and firmly entrenched in panic mode buying. Interestingly enough, it is not the more serious or sophisticated arms or ammunition types that were or remain most affected. 7.62 NATO has remained a lot easier to source than 5.56 NATO, for example, and high grade long range high powered rifles have remained relatively available, as opposed to garden variety AK and AR-15 variants (now readily available again).
In other words, this phenomenon does not primarily reflect the thinking of the thin segment of US shooters who are really serious about high performance arms and ammunition. It appears instead to reflect a broad-spectrum responses of common US gun owners. In other words, these are not primarily the 5 million or so NRA members creating this effect. These are the actions of the roughly 50 percent of US households that own guns. Those common gun owners have common gun preferences and hold common perceptions of all things firearms - related. They own a whole lot of 9mm pistols and .22 rimfire rifles, and they do an incredible amount of shooting with those guns every year, regardless of the political climate. Now, they're also doing a lot of ammo stocking.
I've long agreed with a general phrase often heard among gun owners; "No one sells guns like a Democrat." The realities are much deeper and much more complex than that, but the core statement is essentially true. Getting into a cultural conflict with gun rights supporters may turn out to be a phenomenally bad idea for gun prohibitionists, and the general public. Not only are gun prohibitionists wrong about the science, criminology, history, and political dynamics of private gun ownership, they are deeply and potentially tragically wrong about gun rights advocates, and the large segment of the US population who actively exercise gun rights without much in the way of current activism. Gun prohibitionists are driving a radicalization of their chosen opponents, herding donors to the NRA by the millions on a regular basis,a nd they have changed the contents of the average US gun cabinet in profound and fundamental ways.
I've said this before, but I'll say it again, because I think a lot of people simply don't know it -- as recently as the mid-1990s, few gun owners actually had a tactical weapon of any serious description. Good sturdy pump shotguns and decent reasonably accurate deer rifles were the norm. Handguns were common enough, but more often ownership was dominated by light duty civilian guns with little to no true tactical niche. Now, it seems to be unusual for a gun owner to lack at least one of the following: a practical concealed carry worthy defensive handgun, a true service grade large caliber handgun, a tough tactical shotgun, a tough near-military grade autoloading medium power rifle like the AK or AR, or a serious high precision long range rifle fit for hard service.
Congratulations, gun-banners -- you have created the state of general armament of the US population that you started out lying and whining and complaining about. And even so, you refuse to acknowledge that this new state of armament actually coincides with lower firearms accident and homicide rates. It just doesn't matter how much good you intend to do when you blindly attack basic human rights that you refuse to even attempt to understand.