Guns and Gear

Mark Muller: a free man acting free

AWR Hawkins, Ph.D. Conservative Writer
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Two weeks ago, I wrote an op-ed explaining what it means for free men to act free. Because of the overwhelmingly positive reaction to that piece, I thought I’d elaborate with an example of a free man acting free.

In 2009, CNN’s Carol Costello interviewed Mark Muller, the owner of the Max Motors auto dealerships. Although the interview is now somewhat dated, it perfectly demonstrates both the tactics of the left and the unflinching stance of a free man.

The point of the interview was to make Muller look like a backwoods hayseed for sponsoring a sales promotion where every customer who bought a new vehicle received a gun. At the time of the interview, Muller was running the promotion for the second year in a row. The first time around he gave away handguns; the second time around he was giving away AK-47s.

The interview began with Muller reciting the facts: “Last year we gave away a free handgun with a purchase of any vehicle and it went over very well. We sold … 35 more cars during the promotion than we normally do.” He then explained that he was giving away AK-47s in his current promotion, but made clear that those receiving the guns would have to go to a licensed gun dealer and go through a background check first.

Muller was nonchalant: just a free man talking as free men do when discussing things with which they are familiar. But when Costello responded from her seat inside a CNN studio in New York, it was readily apparent that she was about as familiar with AK-47s as most folks are with moon rocks.

Thus her first question was, “How much money does an AK-47 cost?”

It was quickly followed by her second question, which was really a shout-out to her liberal audience: “Some people watching this might think, you know, owning a handgun is one thing but owning an AK-47 is something else, and maybe this is just a tad irresponsible.”

At this point, Muller was supposed to get embarrassed. After all, Costello had busted him and made him look like a backwoods hayseed on national TV. But Costello miscalculated, for Muller is a free man. Instead of folding, he took over the interview and started asking Costello questions.

He began by pointing out that Costello was “grandstanding,” and then referenced a crime where home invaders had burst into a home and killed the parents while the children were watching. Muller said, “I’ll guarantee that father wishes he had an AK-47 as those maggots busted through his door and slaughtered him and his wife in front of his children.”

Costello then tried to interject and derail Muller’s passionate tangent, only to be interrupted by Muller as he asserted: “The purpose for guns like AK-47s is home defense.”

At this, Muller had Costello so mentally contorted that her only comeback was, “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’s a great argument.”

What did she say? Did I catch a “niner” in there?

By defending his right to be free at every turn in the argument, Muller knocked Costello off balance. And because he was simply giving voice to his convictions, instead of spouting off talking points written for him by a third party, he won the argument.

This is how free men act, because this is what free men are.

AWR Hawkins is a conservative columnist who has written extensively on political issues for, Pajamas Media,, and Andrew Breitbart’s,,, and He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. military history from Texas Tech University, and was a visiting fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in the summer of 2010. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.