"Let me be clear regarding the concert for Sandy Hook given much of the erroneous reporting thus far," McGraw said in a statement to The Washington Post. "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."
Word of McGraw's performance sparked accusations of hypocrisy from gun rights advocates, such as the conservative blog Breitbart.com that called the concert a "gun control fundraiser."
Chase Bryant and Billy Currington are billed as support on McGraw's 35-date tour, but Currington dropped out of the Hartford show on Thursday, following social media attacks. According to Rolling Stone, Currington argued back with his detractors, tweeting and later deleting on Wednesday, "i didn't sign up for shit. just hearing about it like you are. so fuck u too."
The next day, he announced his decision to pull out on Facebook, saying, "I've never been one to take on controversial issues" and that he would be making a donation to a local organization instead of playing.
But McGraw seems unwavering. His fiddle player is family friends with one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and he continued to to The Post, "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."