In response to a pair of petitions centering around Piers Morgan – one requesting that the White House deport him, the other asking him to stay – the British journalist and host of CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight has fired back on Twitter and in a column published in the Daily Mail.
Following the tragic schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, Morgan used his position on television to call for stricter gun control laws, earning the wrath of the pro-gun lobby in the United States. Nearly 100,000 people have signed an online White House petition demanding the deportation of the British-born host due to the threat he poses to their Second Amendment rights, apparently trumping his First Amendment rights. While on vacation in the UK for the holidays, Morgan issued a response via Twitter on Friday noting that only 90,000 people had signed the White House petition, leaving 310,910,000 Americans who presumably want him to stay in the country.
After sparring with critics on Twitter, Morgan lashed out in a column he penned for the Daily Mail, in which he lays out his argument in a rational and reasonable fashion. Morgan points out that the British government's response to the worst school shooting in UK history in 1996 was to implement stricter gun control laws, leading to an extremely low average of 35 gun murders per year since the laws were passed. Since he first came to the US in 2007 to work as a judge on America's Got Talent, Morgan mentions that six of the country's 12 worst-ever mass shootings have occurred without a meaningful reaction from politicians fearful of the power wielded by the National Rifle Association and its pro-gun lobby. Backing up his arguments with statistics and facts, Morgan proposes his own centrist solutions to the problems as he advocates tighter gun control, increased funding for mental health treatment, and a more responsible entertainment industry.
"In conclusion, I can spare those Americans who want me deported a lot of effort by saying this: If you don't change your gun laws to at least try to stop this relentless tidal wave of murderous carnage, then you don't have to worry about deporting me," Morgan writes. "Although I love the country as a second home and one that has treated me incredibly well, I would, as a concerned parent first – and latterly, of a one-year-old daughter who may attend an American elementary school like Sandy Hook in three years' time – seriously consider deporting myself."
Leaving aside personal opinions on Piers Morgan, his column is required reading in this instance. How do you feel about it?