Why Wal-Mart is always out of ammunition...
Or, to be more precise, why the Wal-Mart nearest my house is always out of ammunition.
I was coming home late from work tonight and decided to stop by the local Wal-Mart on the off chance they might have some ammunition in stock. I received some Wal-Mart gift cards for Christmas and haven't been able to put them to good use as of yet.
I hit the door at about 9PM, give or take 5 minutes and walked to the Sporting Goods counter.
The clerk saw me and asked if he could help me. I asked if he had any 9mm ammunition and he said that they had gotten in 10 of the hundred packs today but they were sold out.
I asked him when they normally put the ammo out on the shelves and he said that it depended when the truck got there but that it was usually between 7PM and 8PM. The next question I asked was pretty obvious. "So you sold 1000 rounds of 9mm in the last 2 hours?"
His answer was that the truck had come in a little early and they had actually put the ammunition out at roughly quarter after 6PM. He then said that it hadn't taken them long to sell out as there were 3 people already waiting for the ammunition to be put on the shelf.
He paused and then added that the 3 people had been waiting since 4PM.
I turned that over in my mind. Given that they normally put out the ammunition between 7PM and 8PM, that meant that these people had been planning on waiting over 3 hours for ammunition but had gotten lucky and ended up having to wait only 2 and a quarter hours instead.
I asked him if it was always like that and he replied that it was--that it was first come, first serve and with folks always waiting on the shipments they handed out numbers when someone came in early and waited. On a hunch, I asked him if it was always the same 3 people waiting and he replied: "Pretty much."
And there you have it. The reason my Wal-Mart is always out of handgun ammunition is apparently primarily due to a very small number of people who are willing to spend several hours a day waiting in the store to buy 3 boxes of ammunition every time some of it comes in.
No government conspiracy, no DHS induced shortage, no Wal-Mart corporate plan to deprive the general public of ammunition. It's a handful of folks who are willing to camp out for more than 3 hours, if need be, to buy 3 boxes of ammunition each every time they get a chance.