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Dueling petitions on gun control

Piers Morgan is no threat to Bill of Rights

By The Mercury

At the rate signatures are piling up, the petition to deport Piers Morgan, a British citizen who hosts a talk show on CNN, will soon be more popular than the one calling for Texas to secede from the Union.

Mr. Morgan has drawn the ire of opponents of gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre by calling for a ban on assault weapons and other forms of what he considers rational gun control.

Trouble is, for some of those folks, there is no such thing as rational gun control. They regard any limits as threats to their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.

Thus, on the White House web site, a petition states: “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.”

It took no time at all for the petition, on “We the People” platform, to rack up 25,000 signatures, the threshold at which the White House must issue a response. President Obama hasn’t yet responded, though the petition has acquired well in excess of 65,000 signatures. By comparison, a petition allowing Texas to secede has 120,000 signatures.

More pertinent is another petition — one calling for greater gun control. It had about 200,000 signatures last week when President Obama responded to it. That petition also was sparked by the school massacre. Its stated goal “is to force the Obama Administration to produce legislation that limits access to guns.”

Maybe some of the signers of the petition seeking Mr. Morgan’s deportation ought to also demand that citizenship be revoked for organizers of the petition seeking to limit access to guns. Or, now that President Obama’s citizenship is more widely (though not universally) accepted, petitioners could insist that his own support of gun limitations undermines the Second Amendment and justifies revoking his citizenship.

As for Mr. Morgan, he hasn’t said anything that undermines the Bill of Rights. Nor has he said anything that countless Americans who are worried about gun violence haven’t said. In fact, in saying, “Wanting America to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines isn’t anti-constitutional — it’s called common sense,” Mr. Morgan spoke for millions of U.S. citizens.

His real offense, perhaps apart from being a Brit and holding a job in America, is that he has a wider audience than most Americans.

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