The idea itself was not groundbreaking. Military veteran Mike Hagan decided recently to use his Rochester, N.H., car dealership as a platform for his Second Amendment advocacy by offering a free AR-15 rifle with the purchase of a vehicle.
Though the promotion has been built into the Hagan’s Motor Pool business model for weeks, the reaction following last week’s mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub resulted in a notable uptick in criticism.
Hagan shared some of the feedback — positive and negative — that he has received in recent days. Of 25 emails he received one morning, he described several credit applications, at least 10 who thanked him for supporting the Second Amendment, a few who simply disagree with the giveaway, and five death threats.
“I thought anti-firearm people would be less violent,” he quipped.
Nevertheless, Hagan offered no indication he will be cancelling the promotion and, via the business’ social media account, even offered some advice for those who side with him in this debate.
“To the folks that support us and are choosing to speak out on our behalf against some of the rude comments,” the statement read, “please remember to be as kind as you can. You can make your point by also being respectful.”