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More than 65,000 sign petition to deport Piers Morgan over 'hostile' gun control viewsBritish CNN host has taken aggressive stand for tighter U.S. gun laws after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacrePetition claims he has engaged in hostile attack against U.S. ConstitutionCreated on December 21 and has garnered more than 45,000 signaturesMorgan: 'Are there any other countries that will have me'
22:35 GMT, 25 December 2012
More than 65,000 Americans have called for Piers Morgan to be deported from the U.S. after he criticized pro-gun campaigners on his chat show.
A petition on the White House website accuses the television presenter of undermining the 'rights of Americans.'
Any petition posted on the site that attracts more than 25,000 signatures guarantees a response from the U.S. government. Last week Mr Morgan repeatedly attacked pro-gun guests on his nightly CNN shows following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, in which 20 children and six staff died.
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Divisive: A petition has been launched to deport Piers Morgan after he has taken a strict stance on gun laws
He called Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners for America, an 'idiot,' 'dangerous' and an 'unbelievably stupid man' after he argued
that more guns would cut crime.
In another debate on gun controls, an exasperated Mr Morgan shouted down
economist John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime and accused him of 'lying' over gun crime trends in foreign countries including Britain.
Gun rights advocates, who have been forced on the back foot by public
outrage over the Connecticut school killings, were furious over the
attacks – particularly as they came from a foreigner.
The petition on the White House website reads: '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 right to keep and
Speaking out: The petition had already garnered more than 65,000 signatures by Tuesday
'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
The petition was started on December 21 by a man from Austin, Texas, who
was identified as Kurt Nimmo. US citizens can file a petition on the
White House website and the administration has to respond if it collects
at least 25,000 signatures within 30 days.
Morgan has made it clear in TV debates that he was not attacking the
Second Amendment, which gun advocates insist protects a citizen’s right
to bear arms.
But the American establishment is usually terrified of doing anything
that could be deemed anti-constitutional and even Morgan’s on-air CNN
colleagues looked taken aback by the force of his anti-gun outbursts.
Morgan, who also writes a column in the Mail on Sunday's Live magazine, has refused to back down.
Hitting back: Morgan has responded to the growing petition with a series of tweets
Outspoken: Morgan called gun advocate Larry Pratt 'an unbelievably stupid man' on his show last week
On Twitter, the former Daily Mirror editor insisted that 'wanting
America to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines isn't “anti-consitutional” – it’s called “common sense.”'
He also joked that, if deported, he was thinking of anchoring his CNN show from Jamaica.
CNN has said it has no immediate comment on the petition but media
pundits believe the publicity won't damage a network which is struggling
to win audiences.
Prior to the row, there had been speculation that Morgan might lose his prime-time slot.
Independent publicist Howard Bragman said that the controversy was
likely to get Morgan noticed and may translate into higher ratings.
'A lot of it comes from his being British, he's seen the differences
between the U.S. and UK, he's passionate and authentic in taking this
issue on, and it's probably only going to help him attract more people
to his show,' Mr Bragman said.
Last night an unrepentant Mr Morgan fired back at his critics on
Twitter saying: 'Merry Christmas! Even to those who want me deported.'
VIDEO 'You're an unbelievably stupid man': Morgan v Pratt…
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See the full debate at CNN.