The White House has responded to the petition seeking the deportation of Piers Morgan with a statement from press secretary Jay Carney explaining the First Amendment.
The petition, which received well over 100,000 signatures (25,000 are required for a White House response) was led by conservative radio host Alex Jones. He wrote, “British Citizen and CNN television host Piers Morgan is engaged in a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment. 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 American citizens.”
In Carney’s statement explaining the White House’s decision to allow Morgan to remain in the U.S., he acknowledges that the Second Amendment does guarantee citizens the right to bear arms, but reiterates the First Amendment guarantees the freedom of the press.
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.
We recognize that the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, sparked an intense, and at times emotional, national conversation about the steps we can take as a country to reduce gun violence. In fact, your petition is one of many on the issue, and President Obama personally responded by sharing his views on this important issue.
Earlier this week, Jones appeared on Morgan’s CNN program where he declared, “1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms! America was born on guns and whiskey. It’s true we’re a violent society. … You’re a foreigner. You’re a redcoat. You’re telling us what to do.”