With over 100,000 signatures, an online petition calling for talk show host Piers Morgan to be deported has received an official response from the White House. The petition's organizers saw Morgan's views on guns as an attack on Americans' rights.
The American guns debate took a turn for the weird on Tuesday when radio host Alex Jones went into an animated rant on Morgan's CNN talk show, screaming at the top of his lungs about the potential consequences of a government move to "take away" firearms.
Jones had been asked to speak on Morgan's show to discuss his support of a petition entitled 'Deport British Citizen Piers Morgan for Attacking 2nd Amendment,' which quickly gained the 25,000 signatures required for an official response from the White House. The petition's title refers to the section of the US Constitution treating gun ownership.
Morgan has called aggressively for stricter gun control laws stateside following the December massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that left 26 people dead, most of them small children.
Press Secretary Jay Carney's response, entitled 'When Discussing the Second Amendment, Keep the First in Mind Too,' was posted to the White House's website Wednesday. In it, Carney reminded Americans favoring Morgan's deportation that the Second Amendment, which guarantees "well-regulated militias" the right to bear arms, does not override the First Amendment, which guarantees the freedom of speech on American soil.
"Americans may disagree on matters of public policy and express those disagreements vigorously, but no one should be punished by the government simply because he or she expressed a view on the Second Amendment – or any other matter of public concern," the statement reads.
The statement includes a video of President Barack Obama speaking following the massacre in Newtown, and assures readers that "President Obama believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms."