Chase Bryant Confirms He Will Go Forward With Tim McGraw’s Sandy Hook Benefit
After an intense week of online debate and criticism, country singer Chase Bryant has decided to go forward with performing at an upcoming benefit for Sandy Hook Promise.
The non-profit group was founded by family members who lost loved ones in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. According to its website, the group’s mission is to “protect children from gun violence so no other parent experiences the loss of their child by engaging and empowering parents and communities with targeted prevention programs in the areas of mental wellness early-identification and intervention, social and emotional development and firearm safety and security.”
Bryant is scheduled to go on the road with Billy Currington and Tim McGraw as part of McGraw's Shotgun Rider tour. McGraw became involved with the group because his fiddle player, Dean Brown, is a longtime friend of Mark Barden, who lost a child in the shooting.
He volunteered to make an upcoming concert date into a benefit for the organization — much to the consternation of conservative website Breitbart.com, which posted a story claiming, “Sandy Hook Promise is a vehicle through which various relatives of Sandy Hook victims have joined to push gun control until it passes. Newtown father Mark Bearden [sic] joined the group pledging to ‘dedicate the rest of his life’ to pursuing gun control.”
The enormous backlash from that caused Currington to pull out, saying, "I've never been one to take on controversial issues ... I do feel strongly about honoring and supporting the Sandy Hook community and will be making a donation to a local organization."
McGraw issued a statement clarifying his intentions. “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,” he says. “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.”
Breitbart.com is now reporting that Bryant has decided to go ahead with his performance — which the site deems a "gun control fundraiser" — on July 17. Taste of Country confirmed that news through a representative of Bryant's while in Dallas on Saturday (April 18) for the upcoming ACM Awards.
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