25 Dec 2012

Criticism of gun lobby sparks petition

1:17 pm on 25 December 2012

More than 30,000 people in the United States have signed an online petition calling for British-born talk show host Piers Morgan to be deported for his strident criticism of the gun lobby.

Discussing the Connecticut school massacre on his CNN television show on 19 December, he called Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt "an unbelievably stupid man".

The petition accuses Morgan of attacking the Second Amendment, which underpins the Constitutional right to bear arms.

In response, Morgan said his First Amendment right to free speech gives him licence to criticise the Second Amendment.

The BBC reports that petitions posted on the White House website require only 25,000 signatures to get a response from the federal government.

The campaign was started by a journalist in Texas.

During the Morgan programme, Mr Pratt said tighter controls on gun sales would not put an end to similar tragedies.

"The problem occurs in those areas precisely where we have said 'no guns'," he said.

"Where the guns are allowed freely to be carried... we have very low murder rates.

"We only have problems in our cities and, unhappily, in our schools, where people like you have been able to get laws put on the books that keep people from being able to defend themselves."

Mr Morgan responded: "You're a very stupid man, aren't you?

"You have absolutely no coherent argument. You don't actually give a damn about the gun murder rate in America."