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SC man blows up YETI cooler: 'It takes a loud boom to get the attention'

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By ROSALIA FODERA, WPDE

HARTSVILLE, S.C. (WPDE) - A Hartsville man responded in a rather explosive way to the news that popular cooler company YETI cut ties with the NRA.

Bryan Atkinson posted a Facebook Live video Monday blowing up his YETI cooler in protest.

The video has gone viral with more than 165,000 views.

ABC15 sat down with Atkinson, who explained why he used tannerite and an AR-15 to get the job done.

“It takes a loud boom to get the attention you need," Atkinson said.

Atkinson’s "boom" was produced by 22 pounds of tannerite, an AR-15 and a YETI cooler in a 200-acre private field.

Atkinson says when he read the NRA‘s statement about YETI, he cut his own ties with the company.

"I believed in YETI and I believe in the NRA, but if YETI don’t believe in the NRA, then I don’t believe in YETI," Atkinson said.

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It wasn’t just the cooler, he flattened his YETI tumblers.

Atkinson said he chose 22 pounds for a specific reason.

"22 veterans a day commit suicide and it’s an awareness that everyone needs to be aware of and support," Atkinson said.

Atkinson doesn’t have to worry about where to keep his drinks cool now. Water’s Edge, a Florence-based company, gave him some replacements.

"They’re really proud of me standing up for something I believe in and by that I really, I’m proud enough to stand up for their product," Atkinson said.

After the NRA’s letter, YETI responded on Twitter saying the company supports the Second Amendment, but you still won’t find Atkinson with a new YETI cooler.

"I'm standing definitely behind the NRA, the right to bear arms. YETI states that they are still affiliated with the Second Amendment right and I pray they continue on," Atkinson said.

ABC15 reached out to Water's Edge about its decision to send Atkinson a cooler and cup. Its full statement is below:

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"We saw Brian’s stand on Facebook of the YETI corporation dropping the NRA as a vendor. We recognized that Brian truly believes in the 2nd amendment and wanted to do something for him to show our appreciation. We decided to donate Brian a Water’s Edge cooler and some tumblers with the National Rifle Association logo printed on them. I have never met Brian, but it takes a strong person to stand up for what they believe in. I am a NRA Life Member."
Water's Edge

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