In the last twenty-five years we've seen the onset and sunset of the assault weapons ban, and we've seen our country go from just a couple of states with concealed carry to forty-nine with some type of concealed carry... with the state of Chicago... er... I mean Illinois... being the only one left without gun rights for the average citizen to protect themselves... but things seem to be changing.
The first gun that was actually mine was a gift from my Pappy at age eleven. I still have the box with a $59.97 K-Mart price sticker on it. I remember buying .22s at the local hardware store and looking at guns at Sears. Most younger folks probably don't even remember the Sears catalog coming in the mail with with all the guns, hunting, and shooting supplies sporting Ted Williams' signature. I even ordered a scope once from the Montgomery Ward catalog.
While more income then I care to admit still ends up at Cabela's and I purchase a lot of accessories and ammunition online these days, in addition to a couple of gun dealers in the county... our local chain-store retailers around here seem to be hanging onto the good ol' days.
Now I've met a lot of folks that seem to have political or social issues with Wally World, but unless I'm driving almost an hour or so, the only major retailers around here are Walmart and a Lowe's Home Improvement store.
Our local Walmart has a pretty good stock of ammunition on hand in a large variety of calibers, even if the range of brands is somewhat limited. You can't by a brick of .22s for $5 any more, but fifty rounds of 9mm for less than $12 or .45ACP for under $19 is about as good as you'll find anywhere.
You can even pick up some 100 and 250 round value packs of your favorite rifle or pistol cartridges for those zombie encounters in the cornfields.
While I thought it was my imagination, I even saw an AR15 in the case not too long ago and if you hurry... you can pick up toilet paper, milk, a new flat-screen TV, and this standard Ruger Mini-14.
Our local Ace Hardware store has a lot of friendly, home-town folks working there that can help you pick out some new paint for the bedroom, some rubber washers for the leaky faucet, or nice shotgun for fall hunting. They've been very supportive of our 4H Shooting Sports club and host the gun our club raffles off each year to buy supplies and ammunition.
Ace always seems to have a well-stocked display of long guns, ammunition, and accessories, but unlike Walmart... they also carry...
Nothing like a good selection of handguns to keep nose prints on the glass. Maybe you're in a hurry so you grab a few light bulbs, a rake for those leaves in the yard, and an M&P40. Need a little more kick, you might want to check out that Springfield Armory 1911. Too much in your cart already and you need to keep it light, maybe grab that Ruger LCR or Smith & Wesson Body Guard on the top shelf.
Those who love freedom and the second amendment need to be diligent in taking the fight to the those who don't, but one thing I've been noticing... there are signs of things around here that make me think it's going back to just like the good ol' days.