In an op-ed article for the Daily Mail, CNN host Piers Morgan recalled covering the 1996 shooting massacre at Dunblane, Scotland, which he compared to the gun massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.
Morgan addressed the 90,000+ people who have signed a White House petition asking the U.S. government to deport him. In response, Morgan said he would "seriously consider deporting myself" if the gun laws in America didn't change.
Morgan also compared U.S. gun violence to other industrialized nations which have strict gun laws and far fewer people dying from gunshots.
... The gun-lobby logic dictates that the only way to defend against gun criminals is for everyone else to have a gun, too. Teachers, nurses, clergymen, shop assistants, cinema usherettes – everyone must be armed.
To me, this is a warped, twisted logic that bears no statistical analysis and makes no sense. Do you fight drug addiction with more cocaine? Alcoholism with more Jack Daniel’s? Of course not.
A petition was created on an official White House website demanding my deportation for "attacking the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution." This, of course, is the one that alludes to an American’s "right to bear arms."
The concerted effort to get me thrown out of the country – which has so far gathered more than 90,000 signatures – struck me as rather ironic, given that by expressing my opinion I was merely exercising my rights, as a legal US resident, under the 1st Amendment, which protects free speech.
Each year, on average, 100,000 Americans are shot with a gun. Of these, over 31,000 are fatalities, 11,000 of them murders and 18,000 suicides. More than a million people have been killed with guns in America since 1968 when Dr Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated.
The US firearm murder rate is 19.5 times higher than the 22 next most populous, high-income countries in the world. And a staggering 80 percent of firearm deaths in the combined 23 countries occur in America.
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This has led to the absurd scenario where I can’t legally buy six packets of Sudafed in an American supermarket, or a chocolate Kinder egg, or various French cheeses, because they are all deemed a health risk.
Yet I can saunter into Walmart – America’s version of Tesco – and help myself to an armful of AR-15 assault rifles and magazines that can carry up to 100 bullets at a time.
...And let me say that for every American who has attacked me on Twitter, Facebook or Fox News this past week, I’ve had many more thank me and encourage me to continue speaking out – including one lady who came up to me in Manhattan just before Christmas, grabbed my arm, and said firmly: ‘I’m with you. A lot of us are with you.’
I genuinely think Sandy Hook will act as a tipping point. A Gallup poll released on Thursday showed that 58 per cent of Americans now support new gun-control laws, up from 43 per cent in 2011. That’s a big jump.
The ‘more guns, less crime’ argument is utter nonsense. Britain, after Dunblane, introduced some of the toughest gun laws in Europe, and we average just 35 gun murders a year.
Japan, which has the toughest gun control in the world, had just TWO in 2006 and averages fewer than 20 a year. In Australia, they’ve not had a mass shooting since stringent new laws were brought in after 35 people were murdered in the country’s worst-ever mass shooting in Tasmania in 1996. Fewer guns equals less gun murder. This is not a ‘pinko liberal’ hypothesis. It’s a simple fact.
In conclusion, I can spare those Americans who want me deported a lot of effort by saying this: If you don’t change your gun laws to at least try to stop this relentless tidal wave of murderous carnage, then you don’t have to worry about deporting me.
Although I love the country as a second home and one that has treated me incredibly well, I would, as a concerned parent first – and latterly, of a one-year-old daughter who may attend an American elementary school like Sandy Hook in three years’ time – seriously consider deporting myself.