NEW YORK -- After three years, a raft of wonderfully angry debates yet a declining viewership that ultimately led to the cancellation of his show, Piers Morgan bid farewell on Friday evening, delivering a final heartfelt broadside to America’s gun lobby in the last ever edition of CNN’s Piers Morgan Live.
Since the shootings in Aurora and Newtown, greater gun control had become Morgan’s cause célèbre, leading to often fiery clashes with members the National Rifle Association (NRA), or those who were happy to appear on TV and dismiss the country's stupendously high rate of gun deaths as secondary to the "liberty" to own a firearm.
In his closing address, the 48-year-old Briton praised his adopted country as "a land of true opportunity," adding, "The vast majority of Americans I've met are decent, hardworking, thoroughly dependable people." He also lambasted those who had called him un-American, arguing, "I am so pro-American, I want more of you to stay alive."
However, his frustration over the lack of change following the massacres in Colorado and Connecticut was clear. "I assumed that after 70 people were shot in a movie theatre and then just a few months later 20 first-graders were murdered with an assault rifle in an elementary school, that the absurd gun laws in this country would change, but nothing has happened," he said.
"The gun lobby in America, led by the NRA, has bullied this nation's politicians into cowardly silence. Even when 20 young children are blown away in their classrooms."
Challenging the NRA and its CEO Wayne LaPierre, who earlier this month had said, "There is no greater freedom than to survive and protect our families with all the rifles, shotguns and handguns we want," Morgan, staring into the camera, argued, "More guns doesn't mean less crime, as the NRA repeatedly tries to tell you. It means more gun violence, more death and more profits for the gun manufacturers."
He concluded, "Now it's down to you. It is your country. These are your gun laws. And the senseless slaughter will only end when enough Americans stand together and cry, 'Enough!' I look forward to that day. I also look forward to seeing you all again soon. Thank you. And God bless America. Oh, and while I'm at it, God bless Great Britain too. Good night."
Having earlier tweeted out his thanks to those involved in the making of the show, Morgan posted the following picture on Instagram after the end of his broadcast: