Madonna insists she doesn't condone gun use.
The Girl Gone Wild singer's controversial stage show on her MDNA tour sees her and backing dancers pose and pretend to shoot replica weapons, but she insists it is a metaphorical representation of "the journey of a soul from darkness to light".
In a video titled The MDNA Tour - In Madonna's Words the singer says: "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 is 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."
Madonna, 54, also says in the video her stage show mirrors her own journey and is intended to show that love is the answer, rather than violence.
She adds: "Ultimately as we follow through the journey of my story, the audience can see quite clearly what I see - that the enemy is within and the only way to survive disappointment, disapproval, judgment, heartbreak, jealousy, envy and hatred is with love - not with revenge - not with guns and not with violence.
"In spite of all the chaos and darkness and intolerance we seem to be encountering more and more in the world, we cannot allow our anger or bitterness to swallow us up."
She also warned the show needs to be seen in full to be understood, adding: "It must be watched with an open heart from beginning to end.
"I am sure if it is viewed this way, the viewer will walk away feeling inspired, invigorated and will want to make the world a better place.
"And this of course was always my intention."
- Bang! Showbiz