On Thursday evening (May 26), a spokesperson for Abbott confirmed to the Dallas Morning News that the Republican will instead address the convention through a pre-recorded video message as he travels to Uvalde, Texas where 19 kids and two teachers were shot and killed in the state's deadliest school shooting.
Sen. Ted Cruz, who fled Texas during a historic and deadly winter storm, will be in Texas for the gun convention days after a gunman armed with an AR-15 carried out a massacre in an elementary school shooting. Rep. Dan Crenshaw is also expected to be at the George R. Brown Convention Center and is scheduled to deliver remarks.
Three musicians scheduled to play at the event — Don McLean, Larry Gatlin, and Larry Stewart — canceled their performances, all citing the Robb Elementary massacre as to why they won't be taking the stage.
"I just did not think it was the right thing to do," Gatlin told CNN on Thursday (May 26). "It would have been kind of a classy move on the NRA's part ... if they'd cancel the whole thing and said, 'Hey, we're going to in here for one big moment and say a prayer for those folks or have a moment of silence, and we'll come back and do this later,'" Gatlin added. "We can always have our big convention."
Gatlin said he is still a supporter of the NRA, but said he "didn't think it was a good time to go down to Houston and have a party."
Ex-president Donald Trump will also be in attendance at the convention, but NRA members will have to relinquish their weapons in order to hear him speak.
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