Lee Greenwood pulls out of NRA concert in Houston

After Don McLean, Larry Gatlin and Larry Stewart, right-wing country singer Lee Greenwood has announced he is pulling out of the scheduled gig at the NRA rally in Houston over Memorial Day weekend. His departure effectively leaves the concert without a headliner.

In a statement, Greenwood said: “As a father, I join the rest of America in being heartbroken by the horrific event that happened this week in Texas. I was scheduled to play the NRA private event on Saturday with my band. After careful consideration, we have decided to cancel the appearance out of respect for those who mourn the loss of these innocent children and teachers in Uvalde.

“During this Memorial Day weekend, we must also remember the service members, women and first responders who gave their lives to protect our great country. Please join me in paying tribute as we stand together , which would be the most appropriate measure at this time.

“With my humble regards, Lee Greenwood.”

Other artists scheduled for the country-leaning gig, which is billed as a “Grand Ole Night of Freedom,” are T. Graham Brown, Jacob Bryant and Danielle Peck. The image originally released for the concert (above) was replaced on NRA website with a more generic logo, although Greenwood and Stewart’s names were still listed and tickets were still available for purchase as of Thursday night.

The concert is part of a larger rally hosted by the National Rifle Association, which also includes speeches by former President Donald Trump, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz; “over 14 acres of firearms and equipment and 800 exhibitors”, a firearms law seminar, a prayer breakfast and other activities. The event continues even though it takes place just three days after – and less than 300 miles – from Uvalde, Texas, where a Monday school shooting killed at least 19 children and two adults. It was the deadliest and at least the tenth mass shooting and the 27th school shooting in the United States this year alone – including one in Houston just two weeks ago, in which two men were killed and three seriously injured.

The NRA said in a statement that attendees at the meeting will “reflect” on the Uvalde school shooting, “pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members and pledge to redouble our commitment to secure our schools. “. As they usually do, stock prices of arms and ammunition companies soared in the wake of the tragedy.

In a statement that is starkly at odds with comments by Republican congressmen and governors, Gatlin backed background checks for gun purchases — though he also made the stupid claim that killings don’t happen. would not have taken place “if the teachers had been proficient in the use of firearms and had, in fact, been armed”, as if a teacher with a pistol could have subdued a highly motivated murderer with two rifles. assault.

Gatlin’s statement read in part: “I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend. While I agree with most of the positions taken by the NRA, I have come to believe that while background checks won’t stop every lunatic with a gun, it’s up to everyone. least one step in the right direction to try to prevent the kind of tragedy that we saw this week in Uvalde – in my beloved and crying TEXAS.

It’s not a perfect world and the politics of “if only the crowd” will ever make one. I’m a “what if” type and 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.

Republican leaders such as Cruz and Mitch McConnell and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, all of whom received A+ ratings from the NRA, said calls for gun control “politicize” the issue.

The gun lobby organization’s annual meeting on Thursday was still scheduled to take place at the city’s George R. Brown Convention Center from Friday through Sunday, according to its website.

NRA officials did not immediately respond to Varietythough Michael Heckman, CEO of Houston First, the government corporation that oversees the convention center, said Newsweek he was unaware of any plans to cancel the event or change the schedule in the wake of the school shooting. Trump’s representative and Governor Abbott did not immediately confirm whether the former president and governor would pursue plans to speak at the event.

However, Abbott called for state flags to be lowered to half mast on Tuesday in memory of the victims.

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