Right-wing country music singer Lee Greenwood said he would not perform at a National Rifle Association concert in Houston on Saturday.
The concert is part of a Memorial Day weekend rally organized by the NRA that will include speeches from former President Donald Trump and Texas GOP sans Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.
Greenwood, who frequently performs at Trump rallies, said in a statement, “As a father, I join the rest of America in deeply saddened by the horrific incident this week in Texas.”
“I was due to perform at a private NRA event with my band on Saturday. After careful consideration, we have decided to cancel attendance at Uvalde in honor of those mourning the loss of innocent children and teachers “
Other actors including Don McLean, Larry Gatlin and Larry Stewart have also canceled their appearances on Tuesday in light of the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) was also slated to participate, but his office announced Thursday that he would instead offer pre-recorded video comments.
In a statement, Gatlin struck a notably different tone to Republican politicians speaking, saying he could not perform at the event “in good conscience”.
“While I agree with most of the positions held by the NRA, I have come to believe that, while background checks will not stop every madman with a gun, it is at least a step in the right direction to try to stop it. This week we saw a tragedy like this in Uvalde — my dear, weeping Texas.”
Cruz and other Republicans have accused Democrats of politicizing the tragedy, resulting in calls for tougher gun control measures. There is renewed pressure on Congress to pass legislation that would expand background checks to gun purchases. Two gun control bills have already passed in the House, but have stalled because of opposition from Senate Republicans, many of whom receive hundreds of thousands of campaign donations from gun lobbyists and the NRA.