A number of musicians have cancelled appearances at this weekend’s National Rifle Association convention in Houston, Texas following the mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas earlier this week.
On Tuesday (May 24), an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School, which teaches children aged seven to 10. Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed that the suspect was later shot dead by responding law enforcement officials.
Don McLean announced on Wednesday (May 25) that he was pulling out of his appearance, and he has now been followed by a host of other musicians including singers Lee Greenwood and Larry Gatlin, Danielle Peck and Larry Stewart of the country band Restless Heart.
“I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend,” Gatlin, of the Gatlin Brothers, said in a statement.
“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.”
He concluded: “I’m a 2nd Amendment guy, but the 2nd Amendment should not apply to everyone. It’s that simple.”
Stewart said in a similar statement: “I want to honor the victims, families, the town and our friends in the great state of Texas the best I know how.”
Peck added: “After much thought, as a both a mother and out of respect for all of the families in Uvalde, TX during the heartbreaking time, I have made the decision to not host or perform at the NRA Event in Houston this weekend. Instead, my thoughts and prayers will be with the families going through this tragic and unimaginable time right now.”
The only artist still scheduled to perform at the event is singer Jacob Bryant. However, a source has told Billboard that the NRA is expected to announce the concert’s cancellation shortly.
The Robb Elementary attack was the US’ deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting back in 2012, and marked the nation’s third-deadliest school shooting in history.