My local gun dealer's website has a huge banner in the middle of the homepage that
says, LIMITED INVENTORY—CALL AHEAD. So, a few weeks ago, that's what I did.
"Hey," I said, "Do you guys have any Remington 870s?"
"How about a Ruger SP101?"
"Smith and Wesson M&P?"
He just laughed.
Back in March, fear that COVID-19 would bring down the American economy drove firearms sales through the roof. Our citizens (quite sensibly) wanted to be sure that, should the United States devolve into a Mad Max-style warlord state, we could defend our canned beans and toilet paper—with lethal force, if necessary. Riots following the death of George Floyd in May further drained the supply of pistols and rifles commonly used for self-defense.
Now, the 2020 election is just one week away, and most polls are predicting a comfortable Biden victory. The former vice president has promised to confiscate "assault weapons," which is a scary-sounding name Democrats give to automatic and semiautomatic guns. That includes every rifle that fires more quickly than a blunderbuss and every pistol more advanced than a flintlock. Since most Americans don't fancy the idea of defending their homes with muskets, stockpiling continues to intensify.