Among the many things I love about the internet, one is that I can get firearms I wouldn’t be able to otherwise get. Of course, this is partly a matter of convenience: I can buy a gun online from a dealer in another city without having to drive there. But it’s also a matter of price. Local dealers have to cover the cost of something, whether it’s rent, electricity, or employees.

They pass some of the cost on to you, in the form of higher prices. So the fact that I can buy a gun online saves me money. But it also saves the dealer money. The guns he sells to me, though marked up, are just what he charges me for them.

The seller doesn’t have to cover the costs of running a shop. As long as the guns sell, he is better off selling them online than through local dealers. There’s another, less obvious benefit. Local dealers usually specialize in one kind of gun, and that makes it less likely that he carries everything else. The gun stores near me all sell FIREARMS. Of course, that makes it easier for them to sell FIREARMS.

But it’s also harder for me to find something else. If I want a rifle or maybe a handgun, I have to drive to a dealer specializing in such things. That takes extra time and gas money. The net effect of the internet on gun sales is to increase the diversity of the products available.

It increases competition, which drives down costs. But it also makes it easier for you to find what you want. Dealers have to work hard to keep up with the demands of their customers. All this doesn’t mean that every gun sale should be online.

There’s a large class of products where simple availability is more important than price. Local dealers and internet sales can coexist. But the internet makes life better for people buying guns.

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