NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Some big names in country music have canceled their trips to Texas this weekend following the mass shooting in Uvalde.
Singer Larry Gatlin and Restless Heart frontman Larry Stewart each released statements Thursday, saying they would not perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend following the tragedy at Robb Elementary School.
Nineteen children and two adults were killed after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos made his way into the school and opened fire on a classroom.
The full statements sent to News 2 from the entertainers can be read below:
“To my fellow sad Americans—
I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend. While I agree with most of the positions held by the NRA, 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— in my beloved, weeping TEXAS.
It is not a perfect world and the ‘if only crowd’s’ policies will never make it one. I am a ‘what if guy’ and I can’t help but ask the question, ‘What if the teachers had been proficient in the use of firearms and had, in fact been armed this week? My answer is that there would not be 21 freshly dug graves for 21 of GOD’s precious children.
My prayers and thoughts go to all who are suffering, and I pray that the NRA will rethink some of its outdated and ill-thought-out positions regarding firearms in AMERICA.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.GOD HELP US PLEASE😢🇺🇸”Larry Gatlin — Singer/Songwriter
“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, especially given the event is just down the road.
I’m a strong believer in the 2nd Amendment and I know the NRA is a great organization who teaches strict gun safety with a membership of law-abiding citizens who love our country. I just believe this is best for me at this time.
God Bless everyone involved!”Larry Stewart — Restless Heart
In addition, Don McLean, best known for his 1971 hit “American Pie,” has also announced he will not be performing at the convention. Several other performers, including Lee Greenwood, are still planning to attend.
The 151st annual NRA convention is set for Friday through Monday in Houston, Texas.