Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin drop out of NRA convention performance

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A day after “American Pie” singer Don McLean pulled out of the annual National Rifle Association convention, Larry Gatlin, Larry Stewart of Restless Heart and Lee Greenwood announced they are following McLean’s lead and won’t be performing in Houston.

Gatlin issued a statement that was obtained by Fox News Digital.

“To my fellow sad Americans, I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend,” his statement began. 

“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.”

‘AMERICAN PIE’ SINGER DON MCLEAN PULLS OUT OF NRA CONVENTION

Larry Gatlin has withdrawn from the annual NRA conference in Houston.

Larry Gatlin has withdrawn from the annual NRA conference in Houston.
(Getty Images)

The country music and gospel singer was born in Seminole, Texas.  

“It is not a perfect world and the ‘if only crowd’s’ policies will never make it one,” Gatlin said. “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? My answer is that there would not be 21 freshly dug graves for 21 of God’s precious children.”

Gatlin concluded his statement by sharing his condolences for the families of the victims and urged the National Rifle Association to “rethink” its positions.

“My prayers and thoughts go to all who are suffering, and I pray that the NRA will rethink some of its outdated and ill-thought-out positions regarding firearms in America. I’m a Second Amendment guy, but the Second Amendment should not apply to everyone. It’s that simple. GOD HELP US PLEASE.”

Larry Gatlin said he "cannot in good conscience" perform this weekend after the tragic elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday.

Larry Gatlin said he “cannot in good conscience” perform this weekend after the tragic elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Tuesday.
(Getty Images)

Larry Stewart told Fox News Digital of his decision to pull out of the convention.

“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,” Stewart said. 

“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 Second 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!”

Larry Stewart, Dave Innis and Paul Gregg of the country band Restless Heart visit SiriusXM Studios Aug. 1, 2018, in Nashville. Stewart said he won't be performing at the NRA convention this weekend. 

Larry Stewart, Dave Innis and Paul Gregg of the country band Restless Heart visit SiriusXM Studios Aug. 1, 2018, in Nashville. Stewart said he won’t be performing at the NRA convention this weekend. 
(Jason Kempin/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Lee Greenwood shared with Fox News Digital his decision to pull out of the NRA convention. 

“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. 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,” his statement began.

“During this Memorial Day Weekend, we should also remember the servicemen and women, and first responders who’ve given their lives to protect our great country,” Greenwood shared. 

“Please join me to pay our respects as we unite together as would be the most appropriate measure at this time.”

Lee Greenwood has pulled out of his scheduled performance at the NRA convention.

Lee Greenwood has pulled out of his scheduled performance at the NRA convention.
(Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, McLean shared similar reasons for pulling out of his upcoming performance. He shared with Fox News Digital that he found it “disrespectful” and “hurtful” to perform during this sensitive time.

Gatlin, Stewart, Greenwood and McLean were among several planned performances for the conference. Danielle Peck has also reportedly pulled out of her scheduled performance. 

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A teen opened fire inside a Texas elementary school Tuesday, killing 19 children and two teachers. The gunman was killed during an exchange of gunfire with police. Some names of those killed began to emerge Tuesday, many accompanied by photos of smiling children.

The shooter was later identified as Salvador Ramos.

Larry Gatlin dropped out of the NRA conference a day after "American Pie" singer Don McLean announced his withdrawal.

Larry Gatlin dropped out of the NRA conference a day after “American Pie” singer Don McLean announced his withdrawal.
(Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

Two police officers were wounded during an exchange of gunfire with Ramos but were expected to survive. 

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“Texans across the state are grieving for the victims of this senseless crime and for the community of Uvalde. Cecilia and I mourn this horrific loss, and we urge all Texans to come together to show our unwavering support to all who are suffering,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement, referring to wife Cecelia.

Fox News’ Stephen Sorace, Greg Norman and Louis Casiano contributed to this report. 

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