Okay I admit it I did not see this one coming, folks in the United Kingdom now petitioning to keep Piers Morgan OUT of their country!
A similar petition filed by Americans and delivered to the president of United States also asked for Morgan’s deportation — from the US.
Following a groundswell of support in America for demands to expel Piers Morgan from the country and deport him back to the UK over his views on US gun controls, it seems that any return home for the chatshow host would not be greeted warmly by everyone.
The White House has yet to respond to an online petition calling for the TV presenter to be marched to the nearest American exit, but it has not stopped UK citizens from launching a pre-emptive strike against any such move.
The petition to “Keep Piers Morgan in the USA” had nearly 600 signatures by Wednesday night, far from the 25,000 signature threshold necessary to prompt a White House response.
It was created in response to the petition “Deport British Citizen Piers Morgan for Attacking 2nd Amendment”, which had attracted more than 73,000 supporters. “Kurt N” in Austin, Texas, created the petition following Morgan’s repeated calls for increased US gun control in the wake of the Newtown shootings.
On 14 December, the day of the primary school shooting, Morgan used his nightly broadcast to lambast the pro-gun lobby, shouting down John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime, in an angry exchange.
In a subsequent blogpost on CNN.com, Morgan wrote: “The senseless killing has to stop,” and called for a ban on high-powered assault rifles and high-capacity gun magazines.
The former newspaper editor took to Twitter to ridicule the deportation petition as an attack on his first amendment rights in a number of posts over the weekend. On Christmas Day he had a simple message. “Merry Christmas! Even to those who want me deported,” he tweeted.
But it appears that others of a similar mind believe Morgan should remain in the US. Someone using the name “Janusz J” created the latest petition to keep him on the American side of the Atlantic.
The petition is worded less passionately than the one calling for the Briton’s deportation, reading: “We want to keep Piers Morgan in the USA. There are two very good reasons for this. Firstly, the first amendment. Second and the more important point. No one in the UK wants him back. Actually there is a third. It will be hilarious to see how loads of angry Americans react.”
Based loosely on a Downing Street equivalent, the White House petition site has been inundated by requests since its launch, with officials pledging that they will respond to petitions that pass the 25,000 signature threshold. The site does not say that users must be US citizens, meaning that if 25,000 Britons sign the petition to keep Morgan in the US, the White House is obliged to comment.
Since the Newtown shootings, campaigns directed at both sides of the gun control debate have appeared on the site. A petition to support the National Rifle Association’s National School Shield Program, which aims to have the gun lobby train security personnel in schools, had more than 16,000 signatures on Wednesday.
So now what’s Morgan to do? Find a sovereign country like a ousted Third World dictator?