The rough economy has been particularly tough on car dealers, so many of them have come up with innovative promotions to get vehicles off the lot.
And then there's this: starting in August, Mark Muller, president of Max Motors in Butler, Missouri will be giving away a free AK-47 assault rifle with the purchase of any truck. Muller spoke to Carol Costello on CNN’s “American Morning” Friday.
Carol Costello: Tell me about this promotion and why you decided to do this.
Mark Muller: Well, last year we gave away a free handgun with the purchase of any vehicle and it went over very well. It spiked our Web traffic. We sold, we estimate, 35 extra cars during the promotion than we normally would have and this year we're trying to sell an extra 100 cars more than we would. We're just trying to generate some traffic, generate some interest and enthusiasm and it seems to work real well. We're not just going to give people an AK-47 gun. Felons buy cars, too. What we are going to do is we’re going to give them a voucher where they can go to their local gun dealer or we have local gun dealers we would strongly recommend where they can go buy a gun and go through the proper background checks so the guns end up in the right hands.
Costello: How much does an AK-47 cost, I'm just curious?
Muller: It depends. You can get a good AK-47 for $450, maybe $500.
Costello: Some people watching this might think owning a handgun is one thing, but owning an AK-47 is something else and maybe this is just a tad irresponsible?
Muller: It's a little grandstanding. But how about that guy that just had him and his wife killed that had the twelve children with the seven guys coming through the door. I guarantee you he wishes he had an AK-47 as those maggots busted through his door and slaughtered him and his wife in front of his children. The purpose for guns like AK-47s is home defense.
Costello: Police officers are shot in the line of duty all the time and they carry guns every day. So maybe some might not think that is a great argument.
Muller: Well, I'd personally like to have a chance instead of just becoming a victim. I guarantee you those guys that broke through that door that used guns to kill those people did not have legal guns and did not go through the proper steps to get them. Those are all illegal guns and I would bet my bottom dollar on it. I haven't seen the facts yet, but, look, there is a bunch of evil in the world and people need to protect themselves. We’re real firm believers – we're country folks down here.
We live down here and we’re real firm believers in the Second Amendment and we don't want to become victims. I live out in the country – 15 miles from the dealership here on 1200 acres – and the response time to my home is about 15 minutes. And if I'm counting on the police – we have a great police force in Bates County, great sheriff, great police in Butler where we live – response time is still 15 minutes no matter how great the people are and how great their intentions are. And I would rather defend myself. The only 911 call I need is chambering a round. And I think that’s the case of most people down here.
Costello: I grew up in rural America, too. We had guns in our home, but they weren't AK-47s…
Muller: How long ago was that?
Costello: When I was a teenager. 20 years ago. 30 years ago.
Muller: Things have changed dramatically. I don't know if you know anything about Missouri. Where I live in this county there is a tremendous crime problem with people doing meth and these people – they’ve lost their souls. They don't care about you, they don't care about me, they care about one thing: getting more dope.
Costello: I understand evil in the world, but I'm just questioning the assault weapon to protect yourself. That's all I'm saying. Your motto is “God, guns, guts and American.” Why did you come up with that particular motto?
Muller: Actually it's “God, guns, guts and American pickup trucks.” Because we sell cars.
Costello: But you include God in that and, you know, some might wonder why God is included in a motto that also includes guns.
Muller: You don't have a problem with God, do you? I’m just curious…
Costello: No, I don't. But the combination some people might – between God and guns – some people might have a problem with that.
Muller: We're a Christian nation. We're Christian people. 70-80%, I would guess in this nation, would classify themselves as Christians. I’d say 90% of the people in this country believe in God, whoever their God is. And to try to remove God from everything I think is a huge mistake. I don’t think we need AK-47s if more people…
Costello: That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying putting God in a motto that also includes guns might be a little upsetting to some people.
Muller: You don't think God wants us to defend ourselves? I'm confused. You know. I don’t think God wants us to become victims.
Costello: I don't know. I could ask you the question, you know, we could do the “what would Jesus do.” Would he carry a gun?
Muller: No. They didn't have guns back then, but I do believe he’d carry a sword if he needed it. But he was so powerful he didn't need any weapon.