Larry Gatlin of “The Gatlin Brothers” and Larry Stewart of “Restless Heart” have pulled out of the NRA’s Memorial Day concert a day after “American Pie” singer Don McLean.
The National Rifle Association’s larger rally that will host the concert is still set to take place this weekend despite Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, just 300 miles away from the site of the rally.
“I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend” Gatlin wrote in a statement posted to Facebook. “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?” Gatlin continued. “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“My prayers and thoughts go to all who are suffering, and I pray that the NRA will rethink some of its outdated and ill-thought-out positions regarding firearms in AMERICA,” he added. I’m a 2nd Amendment guy, but the 2nd amendment should not apply to everyone. It’s that simple. GOD HELP US PLEASE”
Stewart also released a statement on social media.
“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,” he wrote. “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!”
Don McLean withdrew from the lineup Wednesday, writing “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. 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.”
Former President Donald Trump, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz will also speak at the rally.
Scheduled performers still expected to appear at the “Grand Ole Night of Freedom,” are Lee Greenwood, T. Graham Brown, Jacob Bryant and Danielle Peck. People confirmed that Greenwood and Bryant will both still be involved.