On Friday, Justin Moore headlined MSD Country Strong, a charity concert benefiting Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Last February, 17 students and staff members were shot and killed by a gunman at the school.
In a statement, the country singer of such hits as “Small Town USA” and “Point at You” said, “I’m of the belief that when God allows you to have a platform like I have, you’re supposed to use it for good.”
At the show, which took place at the Florida Atlantic University Auditorium in Boca Raton and also included students from Parkland, Moore donated $30,000 to the high school and met with family members of victims prior to his performance. According to the event’s organizer, the money will be used to make improvements to the school, including the construction of an art memorial honoring the students who lost their lives.
The issues of gun violence and firearms are of personal important to Moore, a longtime vocal supporter of the Second Amendment. The Arkansas native has sung about the topic in his music (see 2011’s “Guns,” off his album Outlaws Like Me), in addition to serving as one of the foremost representatives of NRA Country, the subset of the NRA that partners with country music artists.
The intended purpose of the event was “to acknowledge and celebrate the lives of young that were ended too soon, the heroes who saved lives, and the champions who press on, fighting to end the gun violence that tears through our country all too often,” according to a statement the organizers provided to the Palm Beach Post.
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The MSD Country Strong concert took place after many months of political organizing and gun control activism in the wake of the Parkland shooting from Marjory Stoneman Douglas students like Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, who embarked on a nationwide summer tour aimed at raising gun control awareness and registering voters in advance of the midterm elections this November.