All . . .
Yesterday in the early evening I stopped by the Gander Mountain in the town near where I live. I went there because I wanted to buy a box or two of 150-grain loads in .308, and because my buddies had been telling me that the ammo shelves at all the gun stores in town were emptying fast.
I surveyed the ammo shelves and was mightily shocked. In essence, any centerfire ammunition from .223 up through the major .30 calibers (.308, 30-06, .300 Winchester) was either in short supply or in no supply at all. As in None Available.
In a Gander Mountain retail store that usually has at least ten to fifteen 500-round cases of .223/5.56mm ammo on hand at any one time, last night there were perhaps 300 rounds of .223/5.56mm ammo in the entire store. Most of it was in just-opened-but-not-unpacked boxes that had clearly gone from the delivery truck directly to the store's ammo shelves. It was obvious that as soon as a case of 5.56mm hit the shelf, within a few hours someone would snatch it like a starving dog coming upon a fresh bone.
The .24, .25 and .26 caliber areas of the ammo shelves had perhaps one or two boxes--total--on display.
There were three or four boxes of .270 Winchester ammo.
In a store that usually has half a dozen boxes of 7x57 Mauser ammo and at least that much 7mm-08 ammo on display, there were none. Zero.
I don't believe there were any boxes of 7mm Magnum, but there may have been one, perhaps two.
The .308 shelves were completely empty except for one or two old boxes of Winchester slow velocity 180-grain loads. These did not interest me.
I looked around. Vast empty acreage on the ammo shelves.
I went and found two Gander Mountain sales guys in the Gun Department. I asked them if there was any .308 Winchester or 7.62mm NATO ammo anywhere in the store in bullet weights under 180-grains. They escorted me back to the ammo shelves which I already knew were empty and which I had already informed them were empty. One of the sales guys picked up a lone box of .308 Marlin Express ammo, offered it to me like I was a blind dummy, and said, "Here's a box of .308 ammo for you. This will do you just fine."
I paused for a moment to see if the sales guy would catch his own mistake. The sales guy attempted to hand me the box of .308 Marlin Express ammo again. I refused to accept it. I politely (but bluntly) pointed out that I had no desire to experience my rifle blowing up and perhaps killing me with its very first shot of .308 Marlin Express ammo, considering my rifle was chambered in ".308 WINCHESTER or 7.62mm NATO."
The sales guy looked confused. The other sales guy suddenly realized his partner's mistake (of epic, perhaps lethal, proportions), grabbed the box of .308 Marlin Express ammo from his buddy's hand, and claimed, "Well, your rifle wouldn't chamber this stuff anyway."
I nodded my head. I said, "Yeah. Thanks for the ammo lesson, though I'm not the guy who needs it. Now back to the first question I asked you a few minutes ago: is there any .308 Winchester or 7.62mm ammo anywhere in the store?"
The sales guys shuffled their feet and looked around at the empty acres of ammo shelves. "Guess not," one of them finally said.
I asked, "Do you have any idea why the shelves are so empty? What are people afraid of?"
The smarter sales guy--the one who hadn't handed me the box of .308 Marlin Express to shoot in my .308 WINCHESTER rifle--said, "I don't know. But the people are sure afraid of something."
President Obama has made no moves to restrict the sales of guns or ammo to law-abiding, sane, reasonable citizens. And the state in which I live, Texas, is a very pro-gun state.
So, dear readers, why are the ammo shelves empty? What, exactly, are people afraid of?
Please discuss and analyze.