Larry Gatlin, the vocalist behind “All the Gold in California” and “Broken Lady,” has canceled his upcoming performance at the NRA’s Grand Ole Night Of Freedom Concert in Houston this weekend calling out “some” of the NRA’s “outdated and ill-thought-out positions regarding firearms in AMERICA.”
He’s the fourth singer to pull out of the gig due to the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 21 people dead, 19 of which were children.
In a statement, Larry said, “I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend. 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.”
The NRA’s 2022 Annual Meetings & Exhibits will take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center May 27-29 in Houston, Texas. Performances are still planed by Lee Greenwood, Restless Heart’s Larry Stewart, and Jacob Bryant. Speeches from former President Donald Trump, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are also on the schedule.
On May 25, Don McLean opted out, saying it would be “disrespectful and hurtful” for him to perform.
“I’m sure all the folks planning to attend this event are shocked and sickened by these events as well. After all, we are all Americans,” McLean said in a statement. “I share the sorrow for this terrible, cruel loss with the rest of the nation.”
After Larry’s cancelation, Restless Heart frontman Larry Stewart and country artist Danielle Peck both said they, too, would not perform at the convention in the wake of the school shooting.
The cancelations comes as the NRA’s revenue declined 23% from roughly $367 million in 2016 to $282 million in 2020, the most recent year for which its tax filings are available. Contributions and grants from members and from corporations also dropped 15% during that time as the organization has been the focus of embarrassing allegations of financial mismanagement and fraud.
For example, in its most recent IRS tax filing, the NRA admitted that it paid for personal chartered jets for LaPierre, as well as “professional makeup and hair services” for his wife, Susan LaPierre.
“The NRA relies on revenue from members, and they seem to be losing members,” said Frank Smyth, the author of “The NRA: An Unauthorized History,” noting that he is a gun owner and NRA member who also believes in gun regulations.” They are doing their best to cover that up. It’s a trend that is probably going to continue.”
Gatlin’s statement follows below in full.
“To my fellow sad Americans—
I cannot, in good conscience, perform at the NRA convention in Houston this weekend. 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.
It is not a perfect world and the ‘if only crowd’s’ policies will never make it one. 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.
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 2nd Amendment guy, but the 2nd amendment should not apply to everyone. It’s that simple.
GOD HELP US PLEASE