Don McLean, Larry Gatlin and Larry Stewart Drop Out of NRA Concert
Don McLean, Larry Gatlin and Larry Stewart have dropped out of the concert special at this year's National Rifle Association (NRA) convention.
The men were originally scheduled to perform during Saturday's NRA's Grand Ole Night of Freedom concert. Other artists on the bill include Danielle Peck, T. Graham Brown, Lee Greenwood and Jacob Bryant.
McLean issued a statement Thursday saying, "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."
On Tuesday, an 18-year-old male opened fire in an elementary school classroom approximately 280 miles from Houston in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers.
"I'm sure all the folks planning to attend this event are shocked and sickened by these events as well," McLean said. "After all, we are all Americans. I share the sorrow for this terrible, cruel loss with the rest of the nation."
The concert is a part of the three-day NRA event that includes speeches from former President Donald Trump, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz.
After McLean dropped out, Larry Gatlin and Larry Stewart, who were also on the bill, decided not to perform.
"I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend," Gatlin said. "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."
"My prayers and thoughts go to all who are suffering, and I pray that the NRA will rethink some of its outdated and ill-thought-out positions regarding firearms in AMERICA," he added.
Stewart, former lead singer of Restless Heart, posted on Facebook and said: "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 just believe this is best for me at this time. God Bless everyone involved!"