“Flying off the shelves” is classic journalese, a cliché that never flies off newsroom shelves and disappears but is always available to reporters and editors who can’t come up with something more imaginative. It’s now in favor when it comes to toilet paper and hand sanitizer. But leave it to the New York Times to discover that guns are also in flight, as is seen in a story, Mar. 16, 2020:
“Reports of firearms and survival gear flying off the shelves have been widespread, including in California, New York, Washington State, Alabama and Ohio. Photos on Twitter over the weekend showed lines around the block at one Los Angeles gun shop.”
Hope those people in lines don’t get conked by airborne automatics.