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Gun Debate Plays Out in White House Online Petition Portal, Where … Nobody Likes Piers Morgan?

Thousands take to petition platform to voice opinions on gun laws.

Screen shot 2012-12-26 at 12.20.31 PMIn the two weeks since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the White House Open Petitions portal has emerged as a favored venue for Americans to react to the tragedy. There was a petition calling for President Barack Obama to take meaningful action to stop gun violence, and a particularly popular call for the U.S. to formally recognize the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group, after WBC released a video called “God Sent the Shooter” and announced plans to protest the funerals of Sandy Hook victims. And more recently, a call to press charges against NBC’s David Gregory, after the Meet the Press host displayed an illegal gun clip during an interview of the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre.

And, of course, there was the petition to deport CNN talk show host Piers Morgan for “engaging in a hostile attack on the Constitution,” after the British citizen called Gun Owners of America director Larry Platt an “unbelievably stupid man” in a televised interview.

That entreaty that has collected nearly 72,000 signatures since it was created on December 21. A new petition to keep Mr. Morgan in the U.S. because a) his anti-gun speech is protected by the First Amendment and b) “no one in the UK wants him back,” has been far less popular thus far, garnering a scant 374 signatures, and indicating, perhaps, that whichever constitutional amendment Americans like best, they tend to agree with their British cousins on the subject of Mr. Morgan.

Follow Patrick Clark on Twitter or via RSS. pclark@observer.com

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