Don McLean, Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin and more are pulling out of an upcoming performance at the National Rifle Association convention, citing Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
The “American Pie” singer-songwriter released a statement saying it would be “hurtful and “disrespectful” for him to perform at the NRA conference in Houston, which will be a meeting of gun rights advocates from across the country.
“In light of the recent events in Texas, I have decided it would be disrespectful and hurtful for me to perform for the NRA at their convention in Houston this week,” McLean said in a statement to USA TODAY Thursday. “I’m sure all the folks planning to attend this event are shocked and sickened by these events as well. After all, we are all Americans.”
NRA convention 2022: Trump, Abbott, Cruz scheduled to speak at NRA convention in Houston this weekend
Those still planning to attend include Texas politicians and former President Donald Trump. The organization released a statement Wednesday confirming that the scheduled convention would still take place and the event would “reflect on these events.”
McLean’s statement continued: “I share the sorrow for this terrible, cruel loss with the rest of the nation.”
Lee Greenwood pulls out of NRA convention ‘out of respect for those mourning’
Country singer Lee Greenwood said in a statement sent to USA TODAY that he will not be performing at the NRA convention over Memorial Day Weekend.
“As a father, I join the rest of America in being absolutely heartbroken by the horrific event that transpired this week in Texas. I was scheduled to perform at NRA’s private event on Saturday with my band,” he said Thursday. “After thoughtful consideration, we have decided to cancel the appearance out of respect for those mourning the loss of those innocent children and teachers in Uvalde.”
Greenwood urged that over the holiday weekend, “we should also remember the servicemen and women, and first responders who’ve given their lives to protect our great country. Please join me to pay our respects as we unite together as would be the most appropriate measure at this time.”
T. Graham Brown is ‘opting out of the concert’ to ‘grieve’
Country singer T. Graham Brown, who was scheduled to perform this weekend, has canceled his appearance, citing he and wife Sheila Brown “grieve with the families, city of Uvalde, the state of Texas and our nation.”
In a statement to USA TODAY on Thursday, Brown said: “We are very sensitive to the feelings of the good people who lost loved ones, therefore I am opting out of the concert in Houston on Saturday.”
“I believe that the families are deserving of time to grieve. It is a sad week for everyone. May God bless us all as we seek answers,” he said.
Larry Gatlin can’t perform at NRA convention ‘in good conscience’
Country and gospel singer Larry Gatlin was also scheduled to perform at the upcoming convention but released a statement Thursday saying he can’t perform “in good conscience.”
“While I agree with most of the positions held by the NRA,” Gatlin said in a statement sent to USA TODAY. “I have come to believe that, while background checks would not stop every madman with a gun, it is at the very least a step in the right direction toward trying to prevent the kind of tragedy we saw this week in Uvalde.”
The Texas native continued: “My prayers and thoughts go to all who are suffering, and I pray that the NRA will rethink some of its outdated and ill-thought-out positions regarding firearms in AMERICA. I’m a 2nd Amendment guy, but the 2nd Amendment should not apply to everyone. It’s that simple.”
Larry Stewart of Restless Heart also withdraws from convention
Larry Stewart, lead singer of country band Restless Heart said he also wouldn’t be performing in a statement to USA TODAY Thursday.
“Due to the tragedy in Uvalde with the horrific school shooting and children who died, I want to honor the victims, families, the town and our friends in the great state of Texas the best I know how. So I have made the decision to pull out as a performer for the NRA convention this weekend,” Stewart said.
Stewart reinforced his belief in the Second Amendment, adding “the NRA is a great organization who teaches strict gun safety with a membership of law-abiding citizens.”
“I just believe this is best for me at this time,” he wrote.