DISCLAIMER: What follows is just my opinion. I haven't read all the posts on this thread yet, and I apologize if I'm repeating anybody or everybody else that came before me. Here goes-
The world has NOT, repeat NOT, gone mad. However, the saturation of the internet (witness our presence on this forum) has made everyone's madness accessible to other people pretty much worldwide, so that where once upon a time you would be bidding on rare commodities against people from 150 miles away, or MAYBE 1000 at the most, and the process would be an actual auction where people had to physically show up on the day, or send a straw buyer, and buy the junk right there; now people from Florida compete with people from Idaho who compete with people from Alaska, to buy ammo from a guy in Missouri, and bid at the speed of light.
So the end result is that the tiny percentage (.1% maybe?) of shooters who are willing to pay 400% inflated prices can match up with the sellers who charge those prices. And thus the market ends up for a little while in a business model where everyone is in a race to the top, where a bunch of sellers and re-sellers are trying to make as much as they can while it lasts, and those who don't jack their prices up to the sky (like Bass Pro, Cabela's, Legacy, a few others) are sold out and get bad-mouthed all over the internet, because they sold for a fair price- and the only ones who have ammo to sell are the insanely expensive, who couldn't sell it while anybody had any left at a decent price.
Does this make any sense to anyone? It's late and I'm still recovering from a root canal procedure, codeine often seems to lend clarity but it just as often turns your writing to pure BS. Someone please let me know if I'm BSing all over the forum.
But it seems to me that the temporary insanity will end once we- that is, the 99.9%- refuse to indulge the greedy putzes who are trying to gouge us and just don't buy from them. After all, though it seems blasphemous to say it, there are more important things than shooting. I myself have been conserving my ammo so far this year, even though I have 3 new guns since Christmas.
Through patience and no small amount of luck, I managed to score about 1000-1200 rounds for each of my major calibers, at good prices, which should last me the year. I fired just enough to get them broken in nicely, then decided to hold off until the crisis ends. In my mind, that will be when I can once again buy a brick of mini-mags at my LGS. Until then, I will just limit myself to 50 or 100 rounds once a month to keep my hand in, and only buy at what I judge to be a reasonable price. Thus I will feel like I am part of the solution. And sanity will slowly return.
The fact that the AWB was dropped, in a bow to political reality which I've been predicting for months now, will surely help too. But I'm not saying "I told you so." (See? Didn't say it. Specifically said I wasn't saying it. Gracious in victory, that's me. Not saying it, no sir, not me.