Don McLean defends his withdrawal from NRA conference after Uvalde shooting

American singer-songwriter Don McLean has defended his decision to pull out of performing at the National Rifle Association conference, saying it would be “horrendously bad taste to be there”.

McLean, 76, is best known for the 1971 hit American Pie.

Speaking to Piers Morgan on TalkTV, McLean discussed his decision to withdraw from the gun rights advocacy group’s conference after the Uvalde school shooting in America last month.

McClean told Morgan, 57: “I pulled out because it would be in horrendously bad taste to be there.

“The only reason I did this show is because I kinda like Western things, you know Western guns, Western rifles.

“They asked me to sing and I said, ‘Ok, I’ll sing.’ And then this thing happened. I said, ‘Oh I can’t do this’.”

On May 24, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos fatally shot 19 students and two teachers, and wounded 17 other people, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

He continued: “Now I’m listening and hearing things, that there are people objecting to background checks.

“Well, that’s again, the insanity that I’m talking about. And there are people allowing these assault rifles – that’s insanity.

“That is not for hunting or for protecting yourself… The idea of this Second Amendment was really to be able to fight off the army back 200 years ago.”

He concluded: “I would ban assault rifles and I would absolutely insist on background checks. We’ve got to start somewhere.”

Piers Morgan Uncensored airs on TalkTV every weekday at 8pm.