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God, Guns, Guts, and American Pickups
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 • Posted August 12, 2009

About the time I first heard about the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ government giveaway program, my New York librarian friend, Gretchen Holzhauer, sent me a link to a story about a car dealer in Butler, Missouri, who was implementing his own incentive program to help him sell cars – with every vehicle he sold, Mark Muller was giving away a voucher, redeemable at gun stores, for an AK-47.

In case you’re one of the three people on Earth who have never heard of an AK-47, it is a Russian assault style rifle, usually chambered for the 7.62 X 39 cartridge. The rifle has been copied by more weapons companies than the Colt M-16, if that’s possible, and there are probably more of them loose in the world than there are teabags in China. And, for the record, China has probably built more AKs than Russia.

Anyway, as you can imagine, Muller’s incentive program has drawn heavy criticism from people who believe anyone who wants an AK-47 must be insane, or a criminal, or a mass murderer, or all three. It’s very difficult for the politically correct crowd to grasp the concept that shooting is a wholesome family activity, and that defending one’s life and property is acceptable.

A CNN reporter interviewed Muller about the program. She asked him if he didn’t think the practice was ‘irresponsible.’ Muller said, in effect, “I’ll bet the guy who, along with his wife, was recently killed by seven guys, in his own home, in front of their twelve children, I bet he wishes he had an AK-47.” Which is pretty much a given, if you ask me.

The reporter later asked Muller how he came up with his motto – ‘God, guns, guts, and American pickup trucks.’ She particularly wanted to know, “Why you included God in a motto that also includes guns.”

Muller said, “You don’t have a problem with God, do you?” She claimed she didn’t, but her intention, obviously, was to insinuate that owning guns must be un-Christian. CNN’s employment standards must be pretty low, is all I’ve got to say.

Last year Muller ran a similar program, in which he gave away a handgun with every vehicle purchase. He said the dealership had sold about 35 more cars than they usually did during the same time period, and he was hoping to sell about 100 more than normal with the AK-47 program.

This trend is liable to catch on. Josh Felker, a San Antonio real estate agent, gives away a Glock pistol with every house he sells. Josh also runs Lone Star Handgun, teaching Concealed Handgun courses at the Bass Pro Shops store in San Antonio. Josh spent ten years in the Army, including a year in Iraq as a Special Operations officer. And he’s a genuinely nice guy with a great sense of humor.

Not only that, but he has pretty much the same attitude I do about guns. He once made a trip across San Antonio with one of his young sons and, realizing he had accidentally left home without a pistol, stopped at a gun store and bought another Glock. It’s pretty much impossible not to like a guy that would do that.

So I was thinking about Mark and Josh when I heard about the government’s idea to give people way more money than their old cars were worth to trade them in on new vehicles. I called Randy Young, who is my go-to guy on anything that has to do with automobiles, and asked him about the program. He said car guys hate it, because it takes some very nice, salvageable vehicles out of circulation that could otherwise be restored and enjoyed. And, as usual, Randy was right.

Besides, the government could help Americans in other ways, such as encouraging them to spend more time outdoors. I’ve got a plan for that.

What we need is an incentive program for hunting and fishing and camping gear. Say you want to trade up for a new deer rifle. If you can get $100 off the price of a new rifle by turning in your old one, the government could kick in, say, an extra hundred or two, provided you buy an American made gun. That would stimulate the economy and encourage good health at the same time. And, let’s face it, judging by Obama’s proposed health care plan, you’re not going to want to fall into the clutches of the medical establishment in the future.

The same kind of thing could be done with pistols, fishing rods, boats, trolling motors, and just about anything else you need for outdoor fun. Of course, the used gear wouldn’t need to be destroyed. It could be donated to programs like Operation Orphans, and Kids Outdoor Zone, and other groups aimed at teaching young people to enjoy the outdoors and be good stewards of the environment. I think it would work.

So if you want to buy a car in Butler, Missouri, go see Mark Muller. If you are in the market for a house in San Antonio, Josh Felker is your man. And if you’re looking for slanted news stories with a liberal twist, turn on CNN . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who doesn’t have a problem with God. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or

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