Larry Gatlin is the latest musician to pull out of the NRA convention in Texas

Southern country and gospel singer Larry Gatlin on Thursday joined a growing list of artists to pull out of an NRA convention in Texas this weekend.

Gatlin canceled his appearance days after a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 21 people dead, including 19 children.

The National Rifle Association’s 2022 annual convention kicks off Friday in Houston, Texas, about 250 miles east of where the fatal shooting took place on Tuesday. “American Pie” singer Don McLean and Restless Heart frontman Larry Stewart also left the three-day event.

After:Texas officials are investigating whether police acted quickly enough to arrest the gunman at Uvalde school

In a statement provided to The Tennessean, Gatlin said he “cannot in good conscience” play this weekend. Gatlin called himself a “2nd Amendment guy,” but said he thinks the right to bear arms shouldn’t apply to everyone.

“While I agree with most of the positions held by the NRA, I have come to believe that while background checks won’t stop every lunatic with a gun, it’s up to at the very least a step in the right direction to try to prevent the kind of tragedy we’ve seen this week,” Gatlin, a native of Seminole, Texas, said in his statement.

Gatlin continued, “I’m 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.”

His statement concluded by asking the NRA to reconsider “some of its outdated and thoughtless positions regarding guns in America.”

Among those planning to attend the convention are Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Texas Governor Greg Abbott and former U.S. President Donald Trump.

The NRA released a statement on Wednesday confirming that the planned convention would still take place and that the event would “reflect on these events.” According to the NRA’s website, the Secret Service prevents attendees from carrying firearms or firearm paraphernalia during Trump’s speech.