A number of artists have pulled out of a concert at the National Rifle Association’s national convention in Houston this weekend following Tuesday’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
“American Pie” singer-songwriter Don McLean was the first to withdraw, saying it would be hurtful for him to perform at the event.
“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.
He continued, “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. I share the sorrow for this terrible, cruel loss with the rest of the nation.”
McLean was subsequently joined by Lee Greenwood, T. Graham Brown, Danielle Peck, Larry Gatlin and Larry Stewart in pulling out of the “Grand Ole Night of Freedom” concert.
“As a father, I join the rest of America in being absolutely heartbroken by the horrific event that transpired this week in Texas,” Greenwood said in a statement.
“I was scheduled to perform at NRA’s private event on Saturday with my band,” he added. “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.”
Gatlin said he agrees with most of the positions held by the NRA but has come to believe background checks would be a “step in the right direction toward trying to prevent the kind of tragedy we saw this week in Uvalde.”
“I’m a 2nd Amendment guy, but the 2nd Amendment should not apply to everyone. It’s that simple,” Gatlin said.
At least 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School were killed Tuesday, when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire.
The incident, which marks the country’s deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, is the country’s third-deadliest school shooting in history.
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