YETI says gun owner rancor is all just a big misunderstanding

By Tim Nelson
Updated April 25, 2018
Credit: Courtesy Amazon

If you’ve spent any duration of time outside, you’ve likely heard of YETI. The Austin, Texas company’s airtight coolers are a staple of tailgates, fishing excursions, and, of course, hunting trips. But in the wake of Parkland, when a slew of major corporations have ended their affiliation with the suddenly toxic NRA, some gun owners have decided to start shooting their YETI coolers in protest.

The cooler kerfuffle started after former NRA president Marion Hammer (who was born with the kind of alpha name that more or less forces one to become a rabid defender of the 2nd amendment) wrote a letter lamenting that YETI had “Suddenly, without prior notice… declined to do business with The NRA Foundation,” she said. “They will only say they will no longer sell products to The NRA Foundation. That certainly isn't sportsmanlike.”

Naturally, gun owners have greeted the news that a cooler company may have cut ties with the NRA in a calm and rational manner. Just kidding, they’ve taken to social media to show their disgust by riddling their YETI coolers and stainless steel drinkware with bullet holes. The #YetiCoolerChallenge has even inspired proud deplorables to fill their hard coolers (which range in price from $200 to $1299) up with tannerite and blow them to smithereens.

In their rush to shoot their own property, these NRA supporters overlooked that the situation may be the product of a massive misunderstanding rather than any intentional malice. In a statement posted on Twitter, YETI said they simply informed the NRA Foundation that the company would be “eliminating a group of outdated discounting programs,” a change that applied to “a number of other organizations”. The company that sells coolers big enough to fit animals you’ve shot with a gun says it remains “unwavering in our belief in and commitment to the Constitution of the United States and its Second Amendment.”

As with the Sean Hannity-inspired “Keurig challenge”, these gun nuts fail to grasp that destroying something they’ve already purchased for anywhere from $200 to $1299 doesn’t constitute an effective boycott. But it speaks to a deeper problem: some on the right are so obsessed with sticking it to their perceived political and cultural opponents that they’re perfectly willing to act against their own self-interest, ultimately impacting no one’s lives but their own.

Maybe shooting your own $600 cooler offers catharsis in these unstable times. But all it really means is that you’ll be stuck drinking warm beer for a while, and that’s a bit harder to swallow.