Tim McGraw Defends Sandy Hook Benefit Concert After Anti-Gun Control Backlash
Tim McGraw is defending his upcoming Sandy Hook benefit concert in the wake of a growing backlash from anti-gun control activists.
The country superstar announced earlier this week that he will headline the “Concert for Sandy Hook Promise” in Hartford, Connecticut in July, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “protect children from gun violence.” But in the days since, McGraw’s plans have been slammed by gun advocates, who are accusing the star of running a “gun control fundraiser.”
In fact, the controversy grew so strong by Thursday night that one of McGraw’s openers, Billy Currington, announced he was dropping out of the show. “I’ve never been one to take on controversial issues — I’m a singer. I do feel strongly about honoring and supporting the Sandy Hook community and will be making a donation to a local organization,” wrote Currington, before saying, “I appreciate people’s freedom and passion for whatever cause they want to support, however, I am choosing to step aside from this fundraiser.”
Currington, along with Chase Bryant, are the two opening acts for McGraw’s summer tour, and it seems the previously announced Hartford date that he agreed to was only recently turned into the Sandy Hook benefit. In his post, Currington added that he will “focus instead on the rest of the tour dates as I look forward to being on the road with Tim and Chase and having a blast with all of the fans.”
For his part, though, McGraw is not backing down, although he is clarifying his position. In a statement to the Washington Post, the singer says, “Let me be clear regarding the concert for Sandy Hook given much of the erroneous reporting thus far. As a gun owner, I support gun ownership. I also believe that with gun ownership comes the responsibility of education and safety — most certainly when it relates to what we value most, our children. I can’t imagine anyone who disagrees with that.”
“Through a personal connection, I saw first-hand how the Sandy Hook tragedy affected families and I felt their pain,” continues the music icon. “The concert is meant to do something good for a community that is recovering.” In the original announcement, it was explained that McGraw, who was named one of Time’s “Most Influential People” on Thursday, was moved to help because a member of his touring band is close with one of the parents who lost a child in the massacre. Tickets for the show go on sale Friday. What do you think of the situation?