John Rich Happy to Debate Gun Control With Tyler Hubbard, But Wants Fans to Back Off With the Hate
Big & Rich's John Rich has long been an outspoken and staunch supporter of the Second Amendment. Still, the singer says he welcomes discussion with country artists on the other side of the political fence, including Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard, who recently challenged other country stars to join him as a part of TOMS' founder Blake Mycoskie's End Gun Violence Together campaign. Although he knows gun control is a hot-button issue for many of his listeners, Rich has asked his fans on social media to cease with their attacks on Hubbard and other anti-gun artists.
"I see a lot of people attacking my friend @THubbmusic about his call for more gun control," Rich posted on Twitter. "I wanna ask you to stop that. He's a good man and means well, he's trying to have dialogue and I applaud that. I'm open to dialogue anytime on the subject, as are many of my fellow artists."
Rich spoke to Fox News about the announcement from Hubbard, as well as follow-up posts from Dierks Bentley and others in the country genre in support of the End Gun Violence Together campaign. The singer says he has nothing but respect for his fellow artists but does want to engage them in a discussion about what a viable solution would look like.
"I have my firearm and my concealed weapons permit to defend myself against the crazy guys," Rich says, explaining that he does everything "by the book" and hasn't seen a good answer proposed by his anti-gun friends. "You realize there's three or four hundred million guns in the United States right now. You can't get 'em. They're already sold, they're already out there. They're grandfathered in. So I would ask those artists, 'What laws would you propose?' ... Give me a solution, I never hear the solution of what it would be."
Hubbard posted a response to the backlash from fans on his Instagram page: "I love you all regardless of religious or political views or where you stand on gun laws, but let’s start having good conversations out of love that help us all reach one goal: a free, safe, educated and loving place we all call home," the singer shared.
Hubbard has since been joined in support of the campaign by Lady Antebellum and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town, adding to the growing roster of country stars speaking out for gun control. Rich also recently exemplified his willingness to engage courteously with those who disagree with him in a Twitter exchange with Americana singer Jason Isbell.
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