Written by: Ben Steinberg
Dear Mr. Morgan,
Any viewer of Piers Morgan Live on CNN knows that you love to talk gun control–background checks, limitation of fully and semi-automatic weapons, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine, the elusive rhetoric of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Your statistics comparing gun-related deaths inside and outside of the U.S. are endless. Boy, firearm opposition sure is your bread and butter.
As an avid supporter of gun control, I agree with all of your arguments, and will go so far as to say that I might call for even more radical measures to prevent gun violence. However, your argument is not the problem. You are the problem, Piers.
I am a patriot, but I am not a nationalist—and I am by no means a jingoist. I have the utmost respect for England and its culture, and for any culture in the world, for that matter. But the areas of our country with large constituencies of Republicans and gun control opposition happen to believe that the U.S. is the greatest thing that ever happened to the world. In their eyes, we’re destined to step over every inferior country (every country, really) and rule Planet Earth. So do you really think they’re going to listen to a chirpy little Brit in a blue tie?
No, they aren’t, no matter how many statistics you throw at them, no matter how many guests you bring on to your show, no matter how passionate you are about the issue. It is a sad fact biased individuals will often judge the speaker more than and before the content of his speech. But these are the people that you’re trying to reach. The gun control supporters are already on your side. The hardcore gun nuts will never be on your side. But let’s assume there is a middle ground—say, an educated Republican family in Missouri that owns only two or three guns. If you want to reach them directly, you, Piers, have to drop gun control and let an American spokesperson take the mic.
I can imagine it right now. Our Missourian family reclines around their tube TV on a Sunday night. An American flag blows in the wind outside. They’re watching CNN—not improbable, as one-fifth of CNN viewers are Republican. And then you prance on, with your hoity-toity accent and your comments about how “Our lives in Britain are so much more carefree without the fear of a gunman hiding around every corner.” The Republican family either changes the channel, or points at the screen and breaks into uproarious laughter. You’re an eccentricity to them, a psycho, a cavalier alien. You are to American liberals what Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly are to conservatives. You aren’t helping us. You are hurting our cause.
Many of the Americans that oppose gun control, and I might argue all Americans at some level, don’t want to hear how other countries are better than ours. They want to hear that our country is the best in the world, and that it should remain the best by enforcing stricter firearm policies. And they want to hear all of this from an American.
So back off, Mr. Morgan. End your editorial chatter and retreat to unbiased journalism. If you actually cared about gun control and the price of human lives, and didn’t just want to glorify yourself as America’s small screen savior, you would make the move. An anti-gun control spokesperson from a demographic that typically opposes gun control might garner more sympathy. Maybe even an American from a typically pro-gun control population group would do the trick. Any demographic representation would be more effective than a foreigner’s.
So back off, Mr. Morgan. Step down and take a big bow. Don’t worry: you’re welcome to stay in America. Just please don’t divide it any further.