High-profile politicians and entertainers are canceling their speeches at the NRA’s annual convention in Houston. The event is taking place three days after the Robb Elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
The cancellations include country stars Lee Greenwood, T. Graham Brown, and Larry Stewart, as well as folk-rock artist Don McLean. Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott will no longer appear in person, but will address the event by recorded video message.
The performers who canceled issued similar sentiments about the situation. They said they support the Second Amendment and believe in the NRA’s overall mission but could not appear while the families are still mourning.
Country singer Larry Gatlin pulled out also because he said he could not participate in good conscience in light of what happened. Gatlin said he believes in a Second Amendment with restrictions and pointed to background checks as a step in the right direction toward trying to prevent future tragedies.
“Do you think a drunk ought to be allowed to exercise his 2nd amendment right? If he walks in drunk, or loaded, or high. Do you think a ten year old should be allowed?” Galtlin asked in a Twitter video.
In the video, Gatlin expressed that he can handle the criticism he’s receiving from both the left and the right for canceling his appearance and his stance on guns.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, also backed out. However, his staff said the NRA was notified prior to the shooting. Senate GOP leadership tapped Cornyn to work with Democrats on gun violence, and he hopes to use findings from the investigation to come up with a legislative solution.
“I’m eager to see whether there are any gaps that might have done something to make this attack less likely, that might of even prevented this attack from taking place,” Cornyn said during a speech on the Senate floor.
The NRA said in a statement, “As we gather in Houston, we will reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members, and pledge to redouble our commitment to making our schools secure.”
The meeting’s lineup still includes former President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, R.