Jan 10 2013, 1:02pm CST | by Jeffrey B. Roth
In response to an online petition with nearly 110,000 signatures demanding that CNN British journalist, Piers Morgan be deported for his call for stricter gun control laws following the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, the White House, earlier today, issued a statement defending Morgan's First Amendment free speech rights.
Filed electronically on the White House website, We the People, the document petition stated: “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.”
Morgan, host of CNN's “Piers Morgan Tonight,” on the day of the shooting had interviewed two gun rights supporters asking when are supporters of the right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment would realize that “we want less guns, not more.” Last week, during an interview, Morgan described Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America as “dangerous … stupid … an idiot.” The next night he made similar remarks to John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime.
Once a petition gathers 25,000 signatures, it requires an official response from the White House. Press Secretary Jay Carney, in an official statement said: “Let’s not let arguments over the Constitution’s Second Amendment violate the spirit of its First. President Obama believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. However, the Constitution not only guarantees an individual right to bear arms, but also enshrines the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press -- fundamental principles that are essential to our democracy. 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.”
Jeffrey B. Roth
A multi-award winning writer, Jeffrey B. Roth is a well-known investigative reporter, who covers crime, law, politics, sciences, business, medicine, education, history and a wide range of other topics. In 2010, Roth won first place for a new series in the Keystone Press Awards, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. A published short story writer and poet, Roth is listed in the Locus Index of Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors. Currently, Roth writes for CBS Philadelphia, CBS Baltimore, the Philadelphia Examiner and regional publications, including Carroll Magazine, Carroll Business Quarterly and Hagerstown Magazine to name a few. In the past, Roth, a former crisis intervention counselor and teacher, has written for numerous Pennsylvania newspapers, state and national magazines and the Associated Press. He lives in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, west of Gettysburg, Pa.
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