The British talk show host Piers Morgan has apparently offended a great number of gun advocates with his staunch position against America’s ineffective gun laws. Based on comments he made on a recent show with guest Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Guns Over America, over 80,000 gun enthusiasts and counting want to have Mr. Morgan deported. Of course, he has joined other public figures such as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Diane Feinstein, in stating the painfully obvious – America has gun laws which coupled with our violent culture cause us to be the world leader among the wealthiest nations in gun deaths and it is not even close.
Just for context, the US has 80% of all gun deaths when measured with the other 22 wealthiest nations and 87% of all children gun deaths. In 2010, the Children Defense Fund reports that 2,694 children and teens died from gun deaths. You would need to multiply the 20 children that died at Sandy Hook Elementary by a factor of 135 to get that many deaths. Since 1979, the US has seen 119,000 children and teen gun deaths. As bad as these mass killings are, the greater tragedy occurs on a daily basis. There are many responsible gun owners who would agree that we have to stop this gun violence now. This is a unforgiveable lack of stewardship by our elected officials.
Let me state that I am not a huge fan of Mr. Morgan, but I have on occasion watched his show if he had an interesting guest. I did not see this particular show, but have read the news reports. Apparently, Mr. Morgan was not a very congenial host and tended to talk over his guest. This is one reason I don’t care for his show, but this must be the new normal as many talk show hosts now talk over the guests. Even though I like Bill Maher’s show, I get frustrated with him when he talks over a guest making a good point. I have always been in a favor of civil discourse.
But, even though Mr. Morgan can be an asshole at times, his concerns over our inane gun laws in America are still valid. We have a problem and will continue to have a problem unless we address our gun laws, culture of violence and unhealthy combativeness, lack of civil disagreement, and mental health care access. We should not overlook the middle two reasons. We have people who argue and do not know how to reasonably agree to disagree. Yet, here is where the Wayne LaPierre and the NRA are wrong. Access to guns when angry lead to unnecessary deaths. People with access to guns kill people; people who do not have access don’t.
Yet, back to Piers Morgan. In our country, we give people the right to state their opinions, even if you do not like what they say or how they say it. So, we should not deport Mr. Morgan for stating his opinion or for being an asshole about it. If that were the case, there are few people with strong opinions who would move way ahead of Piers in the line to deport.
- The entire congregation of the Westboro Baptist Church, who pickets military funerals demonizing the deceased soldiers and says God is punishing America for tolerating gays in the military. As of this writing, there are over 247,000 signatures on that same website advocating for Piers’ deportation who want this church registered as a hate group.
- Reverend Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center in Florida who has inflamed many by burning Korans. His actions were chastised by our generals and the President as they led to the death of American soldiers. Even when confronted by the impact of his actions he continued down his path.
- Reverend Charles Worley of Maiden, NC who said in a sermon we should put all gays and lesbians behind an electrified fence. We should feed them he said, but they will die off since they won’t procreate.
- While were at it, let’s throw Rush Limbaugh in the mix. He said he would leave the country if Barack Obama won the first time. Limbaugh is actually far worse than Morgan as he is a bombastic provocateur on purpose. It sells commercials. Although he is in the entertainment business like Morgan, he has a cult-like following that believes what he says is gospel regardless of its relationship to the truth.
I am being facetious to a large extent, yet I want to make a point that there are people who have greater reason to be deported than Mr. Morgan. Heck, if this blog was read by more people, the Old Fart may find himself on a list for deportation. But, here is where I like to throw in my punchline. I am independent voter and thinker (when I am accused of thinking) who seeks the real truth. And, the real truth is we have an unhealthy problem with our poor gun control laws in America. So, it is time to act as we are beyond the tipping point.