26/12/2012 06:05 GMT | Updated 26/12/2012 10:14 GMT

Piers Morgan Deportation Row: Counter-Petition For USA To Keep Chat Show Host Begins

The petition to deport Piers Morgan is still going strong, with nearly 70,000 signatures.

But who knows for how long, after a counter-petition to keep the former Mirror editor in the USA was started on the White House website.

The keep Piers petition has gotten off to a slow start with 14 signatures so far, with some seemingly from this side of the pond.

It argues Morgan should be kept in the UK because of "the first amendment" and that "no one in the UK wants him back."

"It will be hilarious to see how loads of angry Americans react," it adds.

Jeremy Clarkson has also weighed into the fray, issuing a public plea that the chat show host is NOT returned to Britain.

The row began when CNN host Morgan attacked the right to bear arms in the wake of the Sandy Hook school massacre.

Morgan, who continues to be vocal in broadcasts and on Twitter about his support for banning guns, professes to be unconcerned about the proposals to remove him from the country.

He took to Twitter on Christmas Eve to assert he "didn't care" about the petition, and further pedalled his point by making reference to two volunteer fire fighters who were shot dead in an ambush in New York.

On December 25 he returned to magnanimously wish everyone a Happy Christmas - even those panting for his deportation.

Earlier this week, Morgan called the executive director of Gun Owners of America an "unbelievably stupid man" and a dangerous idiot, in an interview on CNN.

"It seems to me you are morally obtuse,” Larry Pratt said.

“You seem to prefer being a victim to being able to prevail over the criminal element. I don’t know why you want to be the criminal’s friend.”

jeremy clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson: 'Please don't send him back'

Morgan said Pratt had "absolutely no coherent argument. You don't actually give a damn about the gun murder rate in America."

Several other high-profile academics and gun advocates have challenged Morgan on various CNN programmes about his views.

His views on gun control have sparked a Twitter meme #PiersMorganMovies, including "Mrs Dontfire" and "No Country for Whiny British Men".

Since the petition reached the requisite 25,000, Morgan has been unrepentant on Twitter, attacking right-wing Infowars blogger and gun advocate Alex Jones.

But others have urged him to stay out of the gun control debate, as he is not a US citizen, including his old Twitter sparring partner Lord Sugar.

The Newtown massacre of 20 elementary school pupils and six adults by Adam Lanza, who then turned the gun on himself is the latest in a series of an epidemic of gun violence over the last three decades in the US, including 62 mass shooting incidents since 1982.

The vast majority of weapons used have been obtained legally by the killers.

The National Rifle Association has called for an armed police guard in every single school following the Sandy Hook shootings.

Morgan's outspokenness on the issues follows a press conference by Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the America's largest gun lobby the National Rifle Association, who told a press conference in Washington: "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun."

He added armed guards in schools are "the only line of defence that's tested and proven to work."