The White House has responded to and denied a petition to have Piers Morgan deported. The petition received 109,334 signatures.
The petition to have Morgan deported cites an attack on the second amendment. The CNN talk show host has been vocal in criticizing gun ownership in the US, and the public has responded by asking that he be deported. Morgan is currently living in the US as a permanent resident, but he has not been granted citizenship.
Morgan recently gained further media attention during an interview with Alex Jones, one of the people behind the petition. As reported by Real Clear Politics, the interview eventually became an argument and Jones exclaimed, “1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms!”
The petition, found on whitehouse.gov, claims the following:
“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.”
The response from the White House begins by thanking petitioners for speaking out on the issue. Jim Carney, White House Press Secretary, quickly moves on to point out that arguments about the Second Amendment do not nullify the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to free speech. The White House’s response to the petition clearly underlines that point:
“Let’s not let arguments over the Constitution’s Second Amendment violate the spirit of its First. President Obama believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. However, the Constitution not only guarantees an individual right to bear arms, but also enshrines the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press — fundamental principles that are essential to our democracy.”
Carney states that The White House is not interested in punishing anyone for voicing their opinion, even if the subject matter is sparking an “intense, and at times emotional, national conversation.”
The White House acknowledges that the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut has caused an outcry for gun regulations, and assures the public that there are steps being taken to insure a reduction in gun violence.
The White House’s response to the petition to deport Morgan closes with a video taken from a recent press conference, where President Obama addresses the growing controversy about gun control: