Tim McGraw to Headline Gun Control Concert

   04.15.15

This summer, country star Tim McGraw is scheduled to headline a special concert for Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a gun control advocacy group founded shortly after the tragic 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP made the announcement on Tuesday and posted information for the special concert to its website.

“We are so grateful and excited to announce that on July 17th, Tim McGraw will be playing a show in Hartford, CT,” the organisation stated in a press release. “Proceeds will honor SHP and our unrelenting work to promote mental wellness, combat social isolation, and prevent gun violence to #‎ProtectOurKids.”

According to his website, McGraw is connected to the group through Dean Brown, the fiddle player in McGraw’s touring band. Brown is a longtime friend of the Mark Barden, a fellow musician who lost his son in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. McGraw spoke favorably of the organization and supported its goals.

“Out of this tragedy a group was formed that made a promise to honor the lives lost and turn it into a moment of transformation,” McGraw said in a statement. “Sandy Hook Promise teaches that we can do something to protect our children from gun violence. I want to be a part of that promise—as a father and as a friend.”

McGraw’s decision to headline the concert surprised many of his fans, and some have criticized the country singer for what they believe is support for gun control. Members of Sandy Hook Promise have previously voiced the need for stricter gun control legislation and backed proposals for background check adjustments.

“Coming from someone who lives just six miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School. Please stop using the lives of these children to advance your own political perspective. I was a fan,” wrote one commentor on the musician’s Facebook page.

“You’ve forgotten where you’ve come from. I, and many, many others will no longer support you,” wrote another.

Some of McGraw’s critics have even compared his latest decision to that of the Dixie Chicks’ harsh criticism of former President George W. Bush in 2003. That event led to a backlash against the Dixie Chicks and as a result, the band never regained its former popularity. McGraw has not yet commented on the situation, but Mark Barden praised the singer for his support.

“We are humbled that Tim would do this for us,” said Barden, who is a vocal advocate for SHP.

McGraw will be performing alongside tour mates Billy Currington and Chase Bryant, along with an unannounced special surprise guest.

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