AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
Last week, I wrote about the Alabama Ford dealership that was giving out certificates for shotguns, as well as a flag and a Bible, for each new truck being sold. It was a sale about as American as you could get. The only way you could add to it would be to also hand out apple pies.
Unfortunately, it seems the dealership was forced to stop with the shotguns.
Chatom Ford in Chatom, Ala., released a statement saying, “We were running a promotion celebrating this country’s independence. Ford Motor Company has asked us to stop running the advertisement. They manufacture the products we are franchised to sell, so we are complying with their request.” The small-town dealer added that they “appreciate everyone’s support,” and will honor the promotion up to the point when Ford made them stop it.
General Sales Manager Koby Palmer told USA Today that his dealership wasn’t just “handing out shotguns in Alabama.” Customers would get their Bible and flag on the spot, but received a certificate good for one shotgun at a couple of participating licensed firearms dealers — and all the usual background checks, age restrictions, etc., still applied.
The dealer said they’d stopped the promo at the “request” of Ford, but it’s a safe bet that there was some muscle behind the “request.” Under the new, presumably Ford-approved promotion, Chatom says, “We’re going to give away a Bible, an American Flag and a gift certificate to use wherever you want for whatever you want.”
But that’s not nearly as fun, is it? Any dealer can put a little cash on the hood, as they say, to help move the metal, but what Chatom did took a little more imagination. And with Independence Day just hours away, the whole “Flag, Bible, Shotgun with your Ford Pickup” thing shouted ‘MERICA! in the best way possible. It’s difficult to imagine that anyone in the town of Chatom was offended, if moving five cars in three days is any indication. There were no reports of protestors, picketers, or other assorted buttinskies… except for the jittery folks in Dearborn.
Precisely. PJ Media‘s Stephen Green nails it here. I agree with every word he says. Because it’s true.
Chatom Ford wasn’t keeping a pile of shotguns in the back. They were basically handing out certificates to the customer who could then go to a licensed dealer and get their shotgun. This is how this kind of thing normally works, because federal laws are a thing and no one wants to run afoul of them.
It’s very likely that Ford’s “request” was something a little more forceful than, “Hey, guys? Could you, like, please stop that?”
Unfortunately, to me, the problem is more a case of the public has turned on guns and gun ownership so severely that Ford was terrified that if it didn’t clamp down on this, it would hurt them across the nation. Even saying, “Look, this is an independent dealership who is doing this without our consent or approval because they don’t work for us,” wouldn’t have been enough. Not by a longshot.
So, it felt it had to do something, and in the process, it may have cost this dealership some business. As Green notes above, a gift certificate for anything you want doesn’t have the same punch as a gift certificate for a shotgun. Plus, Ford’s kind of deluding itself if it doesn’t think the Bible and flag being given away isn’t going to piss off some folks all on their own.
At least with a shotgun, the new truck owner would be able to defend themselves from the violent mobs.