It seems that Yeti Coolers, by making a business or political change to their policy, has created an uproar with the pro 2A folks. Now I’m not one to judge a situation based solely on the mood of the internet. In fact, I found several times that the knee-jerk reaction to something I saw in the interwebs turned out not to be the case. So I’m just going to post the respective statements from each party below and let the readers decide.
It all started when Yeti Coolers terminated a program that supported the NRA.
Here is what Marion P. Hammer of the NRA wrote on April 20, 2018:
“For years YETI Coolers have been a hot item for sportsmen at the Friends of NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction events around the country.
These Foundation events raise money to support youth programs and educational programs nationwide. The youth of America who benefit from these programs are the future hunters, hikers, fishermen/women, bikers, campers, wildlife photographers, mountain climbers, sportsmen/women and conservationists who will protect our natural resources and recreational lands.”
“Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do business with The NRA Foundation saying they no longer wish to be an NRA vendor, and refused to say why. They will only say they will no longer sell products to The NRA Foundation. That certainly isn’t sportsmanlike. In fact, YETI should be ashamed. They have declined to continue helping America’s young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities. These activities enable them to appreciate America and enjoy our natural resources with wholesome and healthy
outdoor recreational and educational programs.”
This was followed up by an official statement from Yeti Coolers:
“A few weeks ago, YETI® notified the NRA Foundation, as well as a number of other organizations, that we were eliminating a group of outdated discounting programs. When we notified the NRA Foundation and the other organizations of this change, YETI explained that we were offering them an alternative customization program broadly available to consumers and organizations, including the NRA Foundation. These facts directly contradict the inaccurate statement the NRA – ILA distributed on April 20.
Further, the NRA – ILA stated in that same public communication that “[YETI has] declined to continue helping America’s young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities.” Nothing is further from the truth. YETI was founded more than 10 years ago with a passion for the outdoors, and over the course of our history we have actively and enthusiastically supported hunters, anglers and the broader outdoor community. We have been devoted to and will continue to directly support causes tied to our passion for the outdoors, including by working with many organizations that promote conservation and management of wildlife resources and habitat restoration. From our website to our film footage and from our social media posts to our ambassadors, YETI has always prominently featured hunters pursuing their passions. Moreover, YETI is unwavering in our belief in and commitment to the Constitution of the United States and its Second Amendment.”
The official statements seem to be a case of “he said, she said”.
Then came the uproar from the citizens as many households remain divided on this topic. Yeti Coolers can be found in the boats, back of trucks and campsites of thousands of NRA members. This has prompted a movement showcasing some of these parties blowing up their Yeti Coolers. With a rifle of course. That’s one way to take a stand on the subject by exercising both 1st and 2nd amendment rights. Whether that’s a prudent course of action. That’s up to you. As a pro 2nd amendment guy myself, I’m trying not to judge the situation. Maybe Yeti felt pressure to make a policy change, who knows. Fortunately, the NRA will continue to march forward undaunted. And Yeti will survive this despite the outcry.
Marion followed up on 2 May 2018 with this statement/gesture from the NRA:
Don’t blow up your Yeti cooler. Don’t shoot your Yeti cooler full of holes. Don’t chain your Yeti cooler to the back of your pick-up truck and drag it down the highway. Don’t glue a toilet seat to Yeti cooler. Don’t hang your Yeti cooler in a tree and beat it with a baseball bat.
Put a big “I STAND WITH THE NRA FOUNDATION” sticker on your YETI cooler and keep using it. They cost too much money to destroy to make a statement. Let a sticker make your statement.
As I sit here writing, I can’t help but be in the middle of this. Like a kid watching his parents divorce and having to choose which one to live with. Or breaking up a fight between two good friends. I, for one, wish the two could just hug it out and get back to the business at hand. The NRA fighting for Americans 2nd amendment rights. And Yeti Coolers keeping my damn beer cold and coffee hot!
*Photo courtesy of the author