Madonna's controversial MDNA world tour hit the U.S. last week with a concert in Philadelphia, and Tuesday night, it's the TD Garden's turn.

Considering the high-profile mass shootings that have rocked the nation this summer, not to mention a rash of gun violence in the Boston area, the anticipated show has some local gun safety advocates shaking their heads.

That's because the 54-year-old pop icon's show has included a variety of gun play, including her holding a revolver to her head, her crotch, and the crowd, to name one act.

"Madonna should be ashamed of herself," said John Rosenthal, founder of Boston's Stop Handgun Violence. "It is totally inappropriate to bring that show to the gun violence capital of the world, where 150 Americans are shot daily," Rosenthal said.


During a July 21 show in Edinburgh, Scotland Madonna was warned by police to respect the country’s strict firearms laws and leave the gun play out of her act, however Madonna drew criticism when she used the props anyway while joking the show might be cut off.

That performance came less than 36 hours after the mass movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

Since January, Boston Police have reported 21 homicides with a firearm, and a total of 143 non-fatal shootings.

In a statement to Metro defending her performances, Madonna said, "It's true there is a lot of violence in the beginning of the show and sometimes the use of fake guns – but they are used as metaphors. I do not condone violence or the use of guns. Rather they are symbols of wanting to appear strong and wanting to find a way to stop feelings that I find hurtful or damaging. In my case it['s] wanting to stop the lies and hypocrisy of the church, the intolerance of many narrow minded cultures and societies I have experienced throughout my life and in some cases the pain I have felt from having my heart broken."

Despite the interpretation by many that the gun play is in bad taste, not all are convinced that Madonna's show glorifies gun violence.

"The spike in gun violence certainly brings a lot of attention to this tour," said Nancy Robinson, executive director of Jamaica Plain-based Citizens for Safety. "I can see where it would be gimmicky, and perceived as insensitive by most, but if she was not coming to (Boston) with her concert promoting guns, would it save any lives? I'm not sure we can comfortably make the case that it would."

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