Price Gouging and the Consequences of Elections

On election day in 2012, I stood out in the cold handing out literature for the GOP candidate for Missouri’s attorney general. I was shivering next to a young man decked out in a camouflage hat and jacket. He was handing out literature for Democrats and we spoke for a while. He was a hunter and shared a few anecdotes about his last hunt. I didn’t care to get into the details of the differences between Ed Martin, the republican, and Chris Koster, the Democrat AG incumbent. Nor did I mention that Koster was whoring himself out to the Humane Society of the United States, ardent opponents of hunting. What I found interesting, though . . .

was that this avid hunter avidly supported Democrats up and down the line. These are the same politicians who are now calling for restrictions on any number of types of firearms. Perhaps he doesn’t shoot ugly black rifles. Maybe he thinks his Marlin .30-30 will never be banned.

I’m a conservative with a wide libertarian streak. I’m a Republican by necessity, usually supporting them as the lesser of two evils, though Ed Martin is a great guy and I think he would have made a great Attorney General.

The problem is that millions of gun owners like my fellow poll worker put many things ahead of their right to keep and bear arms, and are willing to sell out the Second Amendment for whatever the hell else the politicians now threatening gun bans were offering at the time.

Now those same politicians listed on that green piece of paper Mr. Union Hunter Guy was handing out that day at the polls are planning on banning a large percentage of guns being sold today. Against that backdrop, millions of gun owners are in a panic-buying frenzy, snapping up all the magazines, ammunition and guns they can find.

Some of us here have been bitching loudly about price-gouging by resellers of such items as an AR-15 mags, with some prices shooting up from $19 to over $100. I recently went by my favorite gun shop to pick up some .38 ammo, and he they were fresh out. Their mighty Wall of Guns was bereft of anything except a handful of expensive automatics, some cowboy guns and shotguns. Not a Modern Sporting Rifle was to be found.

Price increases are caused by too much money chasing too few products. We have too much demand for the supply right now, and suppliers are probably not keen to spool up production as they face the possibility that government that may do to them what they did to the incandescent bulb industry.

But rather than bitch about “price-gouging,” we need to bitch about a government that can threaten an entire industry and drive up costs for millions of shooting enthusiasts. Some of you —  and you know who you are — need to look in the mirror and ask yourself what your first freedom is, because millions of gun owners either sat out the last election or voted to protect something more important to them than the Second Amendment.

Elections have consequences. We need to start acting like freedom matters and take people at their word when they threaten ours. I hope Mr. Union Hunter Guy thinks about that as he drives from store to store trying to find a box of ammo.