White House Won’t Deport Piers Morgan

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 9 2013 4:21 PM

White House Responds to Petition Demanding Deportation of Piers Morgan

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Piers Morgan is staying in America

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Just what Piers Morgan needed. More publicity. The CNN talk show host who has somehow managed to go from someone embroiled in London’s massive phone hacking and bribery scandal—he denies any involvement—to a top advocate for gun control and a central figure in the debate that sprang up after the Sandy Hook massacre, officially won’t have to worry that President Obama will kick him out of the country. The White House has released its official response to the petition to deport Morgan for “attacking the Second Amendment.”  The White House says it responds to all “We the People” petitions that get 25,000 signatures within 30 days. The petition to deport Morgan, created by talk radio host Alex Jones, received more than 100,000 signatures, notes Politico.

“Let’s not let arguments over the Constitution’s Second Amendment violate the spirit of its First,” is how White House spokesman Jay Carney begins the response. Although the Constitution guarantees an individual right to bear arms, it “also enshrines the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press—fundamental principles that are essential to our democracy.”

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Read the response after the jump:

When Discussing the Second Amendment, Keep the First in Mind Too
By Jay Carney
Thank you for participating in We the People to speak out on an issue that matters to you.
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.
We recognize that the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, sparked an intense, and at times emotional, national conversation about the steps we can take as a country to reduce gun violence. In fact, your petition is one of many on the issue, and President Obama personally responded by sharing his views on this important issue.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.