Tim McGraw created quite stir among gun rights supporters when he announced his upcoming Sandy Hook benefit concert, scheduled for this summer. The country superstar spoke out on the issue again this weekend, reiterating that the concert is not related to gun control, but instead something he holds personal to his heart: children.
McGraw is slated to perform at the Sandy Hook Benefit concert on July 17 in Hartford, Connecticut. The benefit concert was created by family members that lost children in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre.
Although he’s been met with resistance from numerous gun rights advocates, which include a large portion of his fans, he still continues on with his plans. McGraw opened up in a recent interview to ensure his fans that this is not a political stance.
“I don’t put a political blanket on what I’m doing. This is about helping people and leading with your heart. I think that that’s what I try to do, and we’re doing things [that] are earmarked for a lot of good in the community.”
Fox News reports that McGraw became involved in the fundraiser because Dean Brown, the country singer’s fiddle player, is friends with Mark Barden, one of the parents that lost a child in the shooting.
McGraw met Barden and his wife after the couple gained backstage passes to one of his concerts. It was the chance meeting that pulled at McGraw’s heartstrings and convinced him to use his fame to help the victims of such a senseless tragedy.
“When you sit across from a family who’ve gone through such a great tragedy, it’s just heartbreaking. And when you sit and have a conversation and you feel connected and they want you to help, and you feel like you can help, then you lead with your heart. When you talk about protecting our kids from violence and doing everything you can to protect our children, I’m all in.”
Regardless, many people still refuse to see eye to eye with McGraw on the issue after the benefit concert was said to be a fundraiser for gun control. Barden has stated previously that he will “dedicate the rest of his life” to help support gun control laws. His son Daniel was only seven-years-old when he was killed.
Not all country singers are ready to face off against gun rights supporters. Billy Currington, who was slated to join the benefit concert with McGraw, dropped out shortly after the controversy started. Currington, who claims he is a singer first and foremost, took to Facebook to express his opinions.
Meanwhile, Tim McGraw will continue on with Chase Bryant as his supporting act at the benefit concert. The concert is just one of the stops on McGraw’s Shotgun Rider tour.
[ Photo Courtesy of Ethan Miller/Getty Images]