Tim McGraw is speaking out about the tragic Parkland, Florida school shooting, which left 17 dead on Feb. 14.
I learned one of the teachers at Stoneman Douglas, Scott Beigel, was a friend of one of my associates. A true hero who lost his life protecting the children. I’m deeply moved by these students who are lifting their voices, challenging us to listen, learn, and make real changes. pic.twitter.com/0DWcpnloEU— Tim McGraw (@TheTimMcGraw) February 21, 2018
"I learned one of the teachers who was shot in Florida at Stoneman Douglas, Scott Beigel, was a friend of one of my associates — they were camp counselors together," McGraw shared on social media. "What an amazing man who lost his life protecting the children. That is a true hero. And I’m deeply moved by these students who are lifting their voices — challenging us to listen, learn, and make real changes," McGraw said, followed by the hashtag #NeverAgain.
Beigel was killed while protecting other students from bullets. His fiancee, Gwen Gossler, said at his funeral that he told her what to say if he died in a school shooting.
“Promise me if this ever happens to me, you will tell them the truth — tell them what a jerk I am, don’t talk about the hero stuff,” she said (quote via Huffington Post).
This isn't the first time McGraw has spoken out after a school shooting. In the wake of the tragic Sandy Hook shooting, which killed 20 students and six adults, McGraw headlined a Sandy Hook benefit concert, sparking criticism for country music's historical stance on being pro-gun.
"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 said at the time, in a statement to the Washington Post. "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."
More recently, after the devastating Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas massacre, which killed 58 people and injured hundreds more, McGraw and his wife, Faith Hill, both became outspoken supporters for stricter gun laws.
“Look, I’m a bird hunter — I love to wing-shoot,” McGraw told Billboard. “However, there is some common sense that’s necessary when it comes to gun control. They want to make it about the Second Amendment every time it’s brought up. It’s not about the Second Amendment.”
“In reference to the tragedy in Las Vegas, we knew a lot of people there," Hill added. "The doctors that [treated] the wounded, they saw wounds like you’d see in war. That’s not right. Military weapons should not be in the hands of civilians. It’s everyone’s responsibility, including the government and the National Rifle Association, to tell the truth. We all want a safe country.”
McGraw and Hill will continue their Soul2Soul on May 31. Dates are available on his website.
Photo Credit: Facebook/Tim McGraw