Scott Jacobs/Edmunds.com via AP
Did you know that Friday, November 15th is National Philanthropy Day? I didn’t either, probably because it’s one of those made-up meaningless “holidays” that only corporations seem to pay attention to. In fact, the used car chain CarMax is doing its best to get some earned media based on the invented holiday with a little gimmick and a large donation to a couple of Bloomberg-backed gun control groups.
Each customer who buys a car from CarMax may choose from a selection of personalized stickers to display on their vehicle in place of the traditional CarMax sticker. Sticker options highlight the company’s support for nonprofit partners in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Phoenix that are involved in the following causes: animal welfare, arts and culture, city engagement, education, food security, LGBTQIA+, outdoor conservation, safe communities, veterans and military families, and youth sports and play.
I’m not sure anyone has ever bought a car because of the ability to select a personalized sticker, but if that’s what’s been holding you back from a new used car, now’s your chance. Just don’t expect to be able to choose any sort of sticker that supports the right to keep and bear arms.
In addition to local nonprofit partners, CarMax is also supporting national nonprofits KaBOOM!, dedicated to creating more equitable play spaces for all kids, and The Mission Continues, empowering veterans to continue their service, and empowering communities with veteran talent, skills and preparedness to generate visible impact. CarMax is also donating to Everytown for Gun Safety in support of its program Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an organization committed to fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence.
Another way of putting it would be “an organization committed to fighting for laws that restrict the rights of Americans to keep and bear arms, while not reducing violent crime or suicide.”
If CarMax wants to support anti-gun groups like Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety, of course they have the right to do so. I just don’t know why they’d want to alienate customers by not offering the opportunity to support groups that work to reduce violence without infringing on the rights of Americans. Gun owners buy cars too, but those gun owners who try not to support companies that don’t support their rights are likely going to be purchasing their next vehicle at a CarMax.
I suppose CarMax’s embrace of the gun control movement is the flip side to car dealers offering up a gift certificate for a gun with every purchase of a vehicle. Frankly, that seems to be a far more popular promotion than “buy a car and we’ll donate to Bloomberg’s gun control groups.”
Carolina Ford’s “God, Guns and America” promotion has garnered the small-town dealership plenty of national attention and even drawn out-of-state customers, according to Derrick Hughes, the Honea Path dealership’s general manager.
“We’ve had people from as far as Texas [and] Pennsylvania,” he told CBS affiliate WSPA in Spartanburg. “I think we’ve had a couple of them from Oklahoma.”
Buyers can drive off the lot with their Bible and flag, but the gun part of the offer is actually a $400 voucher redeemable at Locked N Loaded, a tactical gear store 20 minutes south in Abbeville.
Customers who purchased a vehicle must provide a passed background check before using the voucher to buy a firearm, Locked N Loaded owner Jay Ashley told The Post and Courier. Customers aren’t obligated to redeem for a gun, he noted — they can claim other items worth $400, including fishing gear or archery equipment.
Do you think any gun control advocate is going to drive from Oklahoma to Illinois to pick up a car with a personalized Moms Demand Action sticker? I kinda doubt it. And now that CarMax has waded into the turbulent waters of the war on gun ownership, I also doubt there’ll be many Second Amendment supporters making their next purchase at the used car chain when they have automotive options that aren’t actively trying to take their rights away.