In a revealing new Billboard cover story, the Nashville power couple were moved to discuss the topic following the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas in October.
“Look, I’m a bird hunter — I love to wing-shoot,” McGraw, 50, told the music magazine. “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.”
McGraw and Hill, also 50, had several friends at the festival in Las Vegas, where a gunman — armed with military-grade weapons — opened fire on the crowd during Jason Aldean’s headlining set, killing 58 and injuring 527, making it the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
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“In reference to the tragedy in Las Vegas, we knew a lot of people there,” added Hill, who is on the road with her husband for their Soul2Soul Tour. “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.”
At the Country Music Association Awards Wednesday night, the couple — who are parents to daughters Gracie, 20, Maggie, 19, and Audrey, 15 — joined a slew of country A-listers to honor the Las Vegas victims, performing the Hootie and Blowfish classic “Hold My Hand.” Later in the evening, the show’s cohost Carrie Underwood further paid tribute, delivering a heart-wrenching rendition of “Softly and Tenderly” during the awards’ in memoriam.
Underwood’s cohost, Brad Paisley, kicked off the show acknowledging the tragedy: “The way we see it, the best way to honor our fans is to play our music — loud and proud. Our music lifts people up and that’s what we’re here to do tonight. So this year’s show is dedicated to all of those we’ve lost and to all of those who are still healing. We love you and we will never forget you.”