CNN British journalist Piers Morgan has been subject to significant animosity in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre for voicing his strong desire for increased gun control. Gun advocates have now generated a petition for his deportation from the United States.
While this action may appear extreme, the document has technically generated enough signatures to receive a White House response. Is this just another indication of American’s overarching intolerance?
Courtesy of the White House website, the petition states:
“British Citizen and CNN television host Piers Morgan is engaged in a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment. 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.”
Morgan took to Twitter and laughed off the petition. He states, “6,600 Americans have currently signed the petition to deport me - meaning 311,993,400 clearly want me to stay. Thank you,” he wrote on Saturday.
Since the petition’s creation on Friday, and Morgan’s response the following day, the petition has gained steam. As of today, the document has received over 32,000 signatures. The White House requires a minimum of 25,000 signatures in order for the document to be addressed. There are over 150 open petitions currently for the Obama administration to sort through, so there is no guarantee that this high profile document will receive immediate action.
Morgan once again expressed his sentiments via Twitter, claiming while he is being accused of denying Americans’ Second Amendment rights, he is being denied the First Amendment right of freedom of speech.
“Ironic U.S. gun rights campaign to deport me for 'attacking 2nd Amendment rights' - is my opinion not protected under 1st Amendment rights?” he wrote.
Morgan’s tweet invites much controversy in that he is not officially a U.S. citizen. He has a valid visa, but he is not protected under the Bill of Rights. As a journalist and non U.S. citizen, Morgan is in between a rock and a hard place. By trying to do his job expressing his opinion when reporting the news, he is not protected under the same constitution as the viewers he broadcasts to. With that said, is this petition still necessary?
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting, it comes as no surprise that the gun control debate has dominated the national conversation. However, advocating for the deportation of a journalist will not resolve this debate. Attention needs to be paid elsewhere during this time. As for Morgan, however, he may need to reconsider expressing his voice on controversial issues to avoid accusations of bashing the American judicial system.