HOUSTON, TX (CelebrityAccess) — In the wake of the latest tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, which left at least 21 people, mostly children, dead, country recording artist Larry Gatlin announced he’s dropping out of a scheduled appearance at the National Rifle Association’s convention in Houston.
In a statement released by his publicist, Gatlin said:
“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“My prayers and thoughts go to all who are suffering, and I pray that the NRA will rethink some of its outdated and ill-thought-out positions regarding firearms in AMERICA.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.”
Other artists scheduled to appear who have also dropped out include Don McLean and Danielle Peck.
“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,” Peck said in a statement announcing her withdrawal.
As well, Larry Stewart of the country-pop group Restless Heart, has also backed out of participating in the convention.
“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!” Stewart said.
Other country artists, including Lee Greenwood and T. Graham Brown are moving forward with their scheduled performances at the convention, which takes place in Houston this weekend