The cover of the upcoming August issue of Rolling Stone magazine features Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the accused Boston Marathon bomber. Public reaction from all points has been swift, with CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid and Kmart among the retailers who have already announced they will not stock the issue. Several country stars were quick to respond to the controversy as well.

Brad PaisleyJohn Rich

Rolling Stone defended the cover in the following statement Wednesday:

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day.

The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.