Just when it seemed that the controversy over gun control based on remarks from Piers Morgan couldn't get any stranger, the CNN weeknight talk show host wrote a lengthy article for the UK's Daily Mail newspaper in which he made a bizarre threat.
“If the country doesn’t change its gun laws," he wrote, “I would, as a concerned parent first … seriously consider deporting myself.”
“This gun debate is an ongoing war of verbal attrition in America,” Morgan stated, and “I’m just the latest target, the advantage to the gun lobbyists being that I’m British, a breed of human being who burned down the White House in 1814 and had to be forcefully deported en masse.”
The talk show host began his piece by stating that he has fired guns on only one occasion, when the itinerary to a party to the Czech capital of Prague included three hours at an indoor shooting range.
It was controlled, legal, safe and undeniably exciting. But it also showed me, quite demonstrably, that guns are killing machines.
The CNN host then turned his attention to the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., two weeks ago, “when a deranged young man called Adam Lanza murdered 20 schoolchildren aged six and seven, as well as six adults" in what Morgan called “a sickening rampage.”
“Rarely has the hideous effect of a gun been more acutely laid bare,” he stated. ”It’s impossible to imagine losing one’s own child in such a horrific way. I honestly don’t know how you would ever carry on with life.”
After noting that he has four children, the liberal commentator stated that his anger over the shooting “turned to blind rage when I saw the reaction to this hideous massacre.”
Sales of the specific weapon used, an AR-15 military-style assault rifle, rocketed at gun stores all over America in the days following the Sandy Hook shooting, Morgan wrote, and the country’s biggest gun supplier, Brownells, said it sold more high-capacity bullet magazines in three days than it normally did in three and one-half years.
The CNN talk show host then asked: What was behind “this apparently insane behavior?” His answer was summed up in one word: fear.
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.
“But woe betide anyone who dares suggest this,” he stated. “In the days following Sandy Hook, I interviewed a number of gun-rights representatives and grew increasingly furious as they trotted out these hackneyed old disingenuous lines.
Perhaps the reason no one agrees with his viewpoint is that while there are people seeking to ban guns, no one is out there seeking to ban alcohol. Thus, his analogy fails. But Morgan wasn't done just yet:
“Finally, I erupted at one of them, a man with the unfortunate name of Larry Pratt, who runs the Gun Owners of America lobbying group. ‘You,’ I eventually declared, ‘are an unbelievably stupid man.'”
Morgan then claimed “that was the catalyst for the full wrath of the gun lobby to crash down on my British head.” He then bizarrely claimed:
It’s no exaggeration to say that America’s unique fondness for guns pretty much got cemented by hatred of us Brits and the War of Independence. But the main reason the more fervent gun-rights activists give is a fear of their own U.S. federal government using its army to impinge on their freedom.
Nevertheless. “I will not stop in my own efforts to keep the gun-control debate firmly in people’s minds, however much abuse I’m subjected to," he said before introducing some supportive anecdotal evidence.
“And let me say that for every American who has attacked me on Twitter, Facebook or Fox News this past week,” he continued. “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.’”
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.
For someone who has to reach back almost 250 years to explain Americans' "fondness for guns” as lingering hatred for the Brits and claim that everyone who doesn't sign the petition to deport him is on his side, Morgan needs to take a look at the sagging ratings for his talk show. I suspect that many of the people who haven't taken a stand on this issue don't even know it exists. Give it a few months and CNN is likely to deport Morgan--from its airwaves.