Numerous musical acts, speakers, and politicians have pulled out of the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual meeting, citing Tuesday’s deadly shooting in Uvalde, Texas, as their rationale for reversing course.
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Among those abandoning plans to attend, speak, or perform at the 2022 NRA conference is country music star Lee Greenwood, who issued a statement expressing how “heartbroken” he is over the shooting at Robb Elementary School, which claimed the lives of 19 kids and two adults.
Greenwood’s decision not to attend, he said, was deeply contemplated and made out of respect for the victims.
“As a father, I join the rest of America in being absolutely heartbroken by the horrific event that transpired this week in Texas. I was scheduled to perform at NRA’s private event on Saturday with my band,” he said. “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.”
Greenwood is joined by musical performers Don McLean, Larry Gatlin, and Larry Stewart, among others.
Gatlin, who is taking heat from those frustrated with his decision, posted a video to social media Thursday explaining his reasoning and stance on gun rights and the Second Amendment.
Folks… some deeper thoughts regarding my statement earlier today. God bless you all❤️ pic.twitter.com/SSVSK9FJbl— Larry Gatlin (@LarryGatlin) May 26, 2022
“I believe in the Second Amendment. I did not refuse to go sing at the NRA because I disagree with them on very many things; I agree with most of what they say. I decided to do it out of respect for those people in my beloved Texas, down in Uvalde.”
Gatlin encouraged people to “get together” to discuss the issue and didn’t back down from his support for responsible firearm ownership.
“I cannot be canceled,” he added. “I’m one of God’s kids.”
The NRA cancellations didn’t just stop with performers, though, as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also opted not to attend in person and to, instead, send a video recording, according to The New York Post.
And, citing schedule changes, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) are also not planning to attend the annual convention.
Gun manufacturer Daniel Defense — the company that manufactured the Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 rifle purportedly used by gunman Salvador Ramos in Tuesday’s shooting — has also pulled out of the convention, citing the tragedy.
“Daniel Defense is not attending the National Rifle Association … meeting due to the horrifying tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, where one of our products was criminally misused,” Steve Reed, Daniel Defense’s vice-president of marketing, told Fox News. “We believe this week is not the appropriate time to be promoting our products in Texas at the NRA meeting.”
Despite these cancellations, former President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem are among those still scheduled to attend and speak.
Some have called for the convention to be canceled. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has said his city, which is hosting the convention, has a legally binding contract and cannot back out. But he offered a message to the NRA.
“What I would say to the NRA, even though the city cannot cancel a contract because we don’t agree with their position on guns, the NRA can postpone it a week or two to allow the families to bury their children,” Turner said.
The 2022 NRA convention, which seemingly has no plans of rescheduling, will run from May 27-29 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.
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