Tim McGraw’s Concert for Sandy Hook Promise is generating more headlines. Eleven of the 26 families of victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT are now distancing themselves from the fundraiser.
According to the Hartford Courant, the families released a statement clarifying they aren’t associated with or supported by the Sandy Hook Promise organization. The non-profit’s stated purpose is to help protect children from gun violence, but these families want donors to understand the organization doesn’t represent all the victims’ families. Some of them feel Sandy Hook Promise is raising money off their dead children without their consent, in order to to lobby for tougher gun laws.
As previously reported, The Concert for Sandy Hook Promise in Hartford, CT this July is part of Tim’s Shotgun Rider tour with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant, but Currington dropped out of the show last week, saying on his Facebook page he was bowing out because of the controversy, but would make a donation to a “local organization.”
McGraw received backlash from gun rights supporters, including the National Rifle Association, after announcing his participation in the fundraiser. He responded last week in a statement to the Washington Post, declaring, “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. The concert is meant to do something good for a community that is recovering.”
The “personal connection” to which McGraw refers is his fiddle player, Dean Brown, a longtime friend of Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son, Daniel, was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.
Of note, country group Little Big Town has spoken out in support of Tim McGraw’s Concert for Sandy Hook Promise.
LBT’s Phillip Sweet tells Rolling Stone, “It is depressing that people have that much time and energy to invest, when they could be doing better things, like educating their child and loving people in the world instead of attacking someone who’s trying to do something good, like Tim McGraw. Why would you want to attack that?”
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