By The Enterprise-Journal, McComb, Miss.
McCOMB, Miss. —
Gun advocates, many of whom have kept fairly quiet since a young man killed 26 people at a Connecticut school nearly two weeks ago, have finally found a target for their frustration.
It is Piers Morgan, the British host of a nightly interview show on CNN. Since the shootings, Morgan has repeatedly said on TV that the United States needs stronger gun control laws.
In response, a petition on the White House website, created by someone in Texas, seeks to have Morgan deported because of what it describes as his “hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution.”
The petition claims Morgan is using his position as a television host “to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.”
The petition, created five days ago, had by this morning received nearly 70,000 electronic signatures, enough to mandate a response from the White House.
Morgan certainly has been critical of gun advocates, calling one of them who appeared on his show “an unbelievably stupid man.”
Opinions like that may infuriate Second Amendment advocates, but if these folks are true admirers of the Constitution, they would review the paragraph that precedes the one protecting the right to bear arms.
There they would find the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech. Morgan simply is exercising that right — as are the people who have signed the petition to deport him.
Granted, Morgan is not an American citizen, but it’s impossible to envision any judge ruling that his televised comments about guns are unconstitutional.
Gun advocates, from their own experience, ought to know better than being part of this petition. The way to protect or change any law is to win a public debate — not force someone with an opposing view to leave the country.
If somebody wants to get after Morgan, there is a better way to go about it: Back in England, he had a track record of being a sleazy journalist.
In the 1990s, as editor of the News of the World newspaper in London, Morgan was infamous for ordering his staff to invade the privacy of celebrities. (News of the World is the paper shut down by Rupert Murdoch in a cell phone hacking scandal last year.)
Another paper, the Daily Mirror, fired Morgan as its editor in 2004 after he printed photographs of Iraqi prisoners being abused by British soldiers. The pictures were fake.
Those examples of ethically questionable behavior make you wonder why CNN would hire Morgan in the first place. It’s a far greater concern than disagreeing with one of his opinions.
It turns out there are two petitions about Morgan on the White House website. The second one, started on Monday, is called “Keep Piers Morgan in the USA.”
It lists three reasons for this position. Humorously, one reason is that nobody in the United Kingdom wants him back.