HOUSTON — Three music acts and a prominent firearms manufacturer canceled their scheduled attendance at the National Rifle Association annual meeting in Houston over Tuesday’s shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two teachers. .
“American Pie” folk singer Don McLean has released a statement about his intention to withdraw his act from the NRA meeting this weekend.
“In light of recent events in Texas, I have decided that it would be disrespectful and hurtful for me to perform for the NRA at its convention in Houston this week,” Mr. McLean said in a statement Thursday to USA Today. “I am sure that all the people who plan to attend this event are also shocked and disgusted by these events. After all, we are all Americans.”
Country music singer Larry Gatlin also issued a statement about his intention to skip the convention.
“While I agree with most of the NRA’s positions,” Gatlin said in a statement to the same newspaper. “I have come to believe that while background checks would not stop every maniac with a gun, it is at least a step in the right direction in trying to prevent the kind of tragedy that we saw this week in Uvalde.”
He later recorded a video after many of his fans criticized him for canceling his performance and posted it on Twitter, saying his move did not reflect a political disagreement with the NRA.
“I think we have the right to protect ourselves. I believe in the Second Amendment. I didn’t refuse to go sing to the NRA because I don’t agree with them on a lot of things. I agree with most of what they say,” he said. “I decided to do it out of respect for those people from my beloved Texas there in Uvalde. And I’m praying for them.”
Gospel singer Larry Stewart also announced Thursday on Twitter that he would not be performing at the NRA’s annual conspiracy.
“Because of the tragedy in Uvalde with the terrible school shooting and the children who died, I want to honor the victims, the families, the people and our friends in the great state of Texas to the best of my ability. So I have made the decision to step down as a performer for the NRA convention this weekend,” Mr. Stewart said.
It’s not just musical acts that have pulled out of the event; Firearms manufacturer Daniel Defense will no longer participate in the annual meeting.
The weapons manufacturer made its Twitter account private after it was discovered that the account posted a publicity photo of a young boy holding one of its semi-automatic rifles days before the gunman used one of his firearms at the school. Robb Elementary.
The image, which shows the boy holding the rifle in his lap, is captioned: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
The NRA did not respond to a request for comment from The Washington Times.