Pity poor Piers Morgan. The British host of his own dismally-rated show on CNN is making the news today for all the wrong reasons.
Almost 100,000 people have signed a petition for Morgan’s deportation from the United States after he demanded tighter gun controls following the Newtown, Conn. shooting in which 20 children and seven adults were killed at the hands of a madman.
This is more than three times the number of signatures needed to require a formal White House response. An individual by the name of Kurt N. in Austin, Texas started a petition at WhiteHouse.gov demanding Morgan be deported back to his home country of England.
“British Citizen and CNN television host Piers Morgan is engaged in a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment,” the petition reads. “We demand that Mr. Morgan be deported immediately for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights and for exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.”
Now there is a counter-petition to keep the CNN host in the United States that reads, in part, “No one in the UK wants him back,” with popular British television personality Jeremy Clarkson, host of Top Gear, tweeting, “Americans. It took us 40 years to get rid of Piers Morgan. Pleasse (sic) don’t send him back.”
Last week on his show, Morgan said to Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners for America who was a guest on his show, “You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?”
Morgan had other comments for Pratt, including, “You don’t actually give a damn about the gun murder rate in America.” He called Pratt an “idiot,” and ended with, “You’re a dangerous man espousing dangerous nonsense and you shame your country.”
Minutes after news of the Connecticut shootings broke, the 47-year-old host tweeted, “Why does any civilian in America need a weapon that can fire 100 rounds of ammunition at rapid speed?” He also insisted that the “only way forward for America is a national gun policy, same (much tougher) laws for everyone. No assault weapons for civilians, period.”
The counter-petition cites three reasons that Morgan should stay in the United States. “Firstly, the First Amendment,” it begins. “Second, and the more important point, no one in the UK wants him back. Actually, there is a third — it will be hilarious to see how loads of angry Americans react.”
Some media are reporting that Morgan is attempting to divert attention away from the petition by tweeting about the murder of two firefighters.
“I don’t care about the petition to deport me. I do care about poor NYC firefighters murdered/injured with an assault weapon today,” he tweeted Monday.
The man suspected in the murders was an ex-convict who had served time for killing his grandmother with a hammer. News reports said he used a rifle to shoot the firefighters. Anti-Second Amendment advocates like the CNN host are fond of using the term “assault weapon” to describe any firearm.
Piers Morgan seems to be taking the palaver all in his stride, tweeting “Merry Christmas! Even to those who want me deported,” and, “If I do get deported from America for wanting fewer gun murders, are there any other countries that will have me?”
Morgan is protected by the First Amendment with the Supreme Court ruling that it protects speech regardless of the nationality of the speaker.