"6,600 Americans have currently signed the petition to deport me - meaning 311,993,400 clearly want me to stay," CNN personality Piers Morgan tweeted on Saturday in response to a We the People petition launched on Friday by pro-gun advocates who seek to ship Morgan back across the pond over his outspoken views in favor of more gun control in the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
But the number of signatories has since quintupled, giving the electronic document enough support to elicit a response from the White House.
The petition reads:
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 spent most of the weekend laughing the petition off, tweeting at critics with grammar corrections and snarky one-liners. But as more conspicuous voices, such as that of British Donald Trump Alan Sugar, joined the rabble, Morgan's demeanor grew more somber.
Later, after pointing out the irony inherent in a petition ostensibly defending the 2nd Amendment while ignoring the 1st, Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto added fuel to the petitioners' bonfire by directing Morgan's attention to Kleindienst v. Mandel — a Supreme Court ruling that barring a foreign journalist from entering the country does not violate the 1st Amendment.
Within 24 hours of Taranto's contribution, the petition added a whopping 20,000 signatures, crossing the threshold necessary for an official White House response.
It's worth noting that while the White House has said it would respond to petitions with over 25,000 signatures, it is under no obligation to do so. In fact, a petition to grant the State of Texas the right to secede from the Union currently has over 120,000 signatures and zero White House responses.
[photo via AP]