Broadcaster Piers Morgan has vowed to carry on his fight to ban guns in America after thousands of people signed a petition to deport him from the country.
The CNN television show host turned on gun lobbyists in the US following the shooting dead of 20 children at Sandy Hook school last month.
His calls for a ban were met with fierce opposition from pro-gun groups, including the launch of a "deport Piers Morgan" petition by American radio host Alex Jones, with whom Morgan had a heated on-air debate about the issue.
Speaking from New York on Daybreak, Morgan said the petition had been unsuccessful after being turned down by President Obama and he would remain in the country to carry on the battle.
He told the show: "We're in a country, in America, where there are 300 million guns in circulation and although I understand that the American constitution empowers Americans to believe they are entitled to have a handgun or a pistol to defend themselves at home, what it doesn't do is entitle deranged young people to get easy access to these killing machines, and that's what the assault rifles are.
"They are really military-style machine guns and you can then go and buy a magazine with 100 bullets, load yourself up, and commit carnage. And it's that specific thing I'm trying to help get banned here."
He branded pro-gun advocate Jones "bordering on insane" after their on-screen meeting in which Jones shouted over Morgan, talked about 9/11 conspiracies and ranted about the rights of Americans to bear arms.
Morgan said Jones represented an extreme section of the gun rights lobby and had a huge influence over the American public with his contributions to 160 radio networks around the country, and tens of millions of hits on the internet for blogs and his YouTube postings.
Morgan said such strong voices and the behaviour of pro-gun groups lead to the increase in sales of guns and ammunition as seen in the aftermath of massacres such as Sandy Hook because some people believe that if everybody was armed, they would be able to protect themselves better.
"This whole logic of more guns, less crime is so deeply flawed and dangerous, it just has to change," he said.
Asked if he felt fearful for the safety of his family in America, Morgan said he was worried his young daughter could be in danger if she goes to school in the country in a few years' time.
"I'm already concerned about her safety in a country that has such lax gun control," he said.
"The reason it has such lax gun control is that the National Rifle Association, the NRA and other gun rights people, is that they breed on fear and the reason they do that is because it guarantees more sales of ammunition and weapons, and you're living in a country now that is driven by these people into a sort of subconscious feeling that if you're not armed, then there's something wrong with you."
- More about:
- Newspapers And Magazines
- New York City
- Tv Show Hosts And Hostesses (tv People)