I attended a gun show a few days after Sandy Hook and prices were still under $800 for several of the entry level ARs. Business was brisk.
Now I have to brag a little. I offered an older Sig P229 for trade a few weeks later and got a hit. I was able to trade it straight across for a very nice AR with low round count and lots of bells and whistles. After selling some of the accessories that were attached to it, I have less than $600 invested.
I also saw a nice AR on Armslist for $950 a few days ago. Decent deals can still be had, they are just fewer and further between.
To a much greater extent than most mechanical devices, firearms are terribly unforgiving of any overconfidence, complacency or negligence.