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Thursday, January 10, 2013

White House Addresses Piers Morgan Petition

OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE RESPONSE TODeport British Citizen Piers Morgan for Attacking 2nd Amendment

When Discussing the Second Amendment, Keep the First in Mind Too

By Jay Carney
Thank you for participating in We the People to speak out on an issue that matters to you.
Let’s not let arguments over the Constitution’s Second Amendment violate the spirit of its First. President Obama believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. However, the Constitution not only guarantees an individual right to bear arms, but also enshrines the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press -- fundamental principles that are essential to our democracy. Americans may disagree on matters of public policy and express those disagreements vigorously, but no one should be punished by the government simply because he or she expressed a view on the Second Amendment -- or any other matter of public concern.
We recognize that the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, sparked an intense, and at times emotional, national conversation about the steps we can take as a country to reduce gun violence. In fact, your petition is one of many on the issue, and President Obama personally responded by sharing his views on this important issue.


Anonymous said...

The Bill of Rights is for US Citizens. Is he a citizen?

Anonymous said...

To 9:58, you've never actually read the Bill of Rights, have you? If you have, you'd see just how stupid saying "The Bill of Rights is for US Citizens" is. The Bill of rights doesn't grant rights to citizens; the Bill of rights limits the power of government. I'd urge you to read the Constitution before you start spouting off.

Anonymous said...

I have read it. It's not called the Bill of Limits.

Anonymous said...

Our AMERICAN constitution does not apply to Mr. Morgan. He is not an American.
Go to England or any foreign country and be critical of it's people and government, see what happens.
I'd personally like to see some idiot pop his noggin'.
They can send him home in an altoid box for all I care.

Anonymous said...

All you Constitutional "experts" who somehow think the First Amendment only applies to U.S. citizens, please show me anything from the text of the Constitution that supports your views.

To 10:29, if you've read it, then you know that "Bill of Rights" isn't in the text. It is just the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The Constitution, in case you don't realize, is a framework for government. These ten amendments affect how the federal government works. They limit the power of government in order to ensure that it does not infringe on the natural rights of individuals. It does not grant rights to citizens; it protects the natural rights of every individual from the power of the federal government.

Anonymous said...

I have come to the sad conclusion that whenever these folks use the term 'democracy' they lose me.

We live in a Republic and until our leaders start calling it a Republic I will continue to ignore their rhetoric.

Anonymous said...


I understand exactly what the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are. I'm not debating semantics.

What you and I disagree on is if the Amendments apply to only US Citizens or not. Unfortunately for me, like you said, it is not explicit on this point.

I do not support a non citizen's right to bear arms any more than I support their right to free speech.

Anonymous said...

No, 11:19, the Constitution is explicit that you're wrong. The First Amendment begins "Congress shall make no law." It doesn't say "Congress shall make no law that infringes on a citizen's free speech rights." It limits Congress's power to make any law that restricts how anyone speaks. That's about as clear as you can get. Again, please show me anywhere in the text where it agrees with your interpretation.

You seem to be under the illusion that the Constitution grants rights. It protects rights, not grants them. As the Declaration of Independence points out, we have certain inalienable rights that come from our status as human beings. These are natural rights, given to us by God. Governments are there to protect those rights. Citizenship doesn't play into this issue at all. These natural rights, given to us by God, are rights everyone enjoys. The Constitution sets up a system to protect those rights. Whether citizen or non-citizen, the government can't stifle the right to free speech, to defend oneself, or to practice one's religion.

You seem to hold the view that our rights flow from government, not God. That's fine if you do, but that's not what the Founders believed.

I'd urge you to read the writings of the Founding Fathers on this topic. You may be especially interested in Thomas Jefferson's Kentucky Resolution, written in response to the Alien and Sedition Acts. In that he explicitly points out that the Constitution covers non-citizens.

In sum, your belief that the Bill of Rights does not cover non-citizens is contradicted by the plain text of the Constitution and the beliefs of the Founders. If you have some sort of evidence that I'm wrong, please show me. As I said above,

Anonymous said...

An intelligent debate on sbynews? Were the Mayans right? Is this the end of the world?

Anonymous said...


This is a great discussion. I just wish you weren't so angry.

No, I do not think rights come from the government.

"Governments are there to protect those rights."

I say yes, the rights of those that created the government- the citizens.

I see We and People capitalized quite often. Wouldn't this suggest the authors had very specific people in mind?

Anonymous said...

To 1:02, I'm not angry and I apologize if I come across as such. I may be passionate, but please don't mistake that for anger.

How can citizens form a government? Citizenship comes from a government, it does not exist before a government exists.

That may sound somewhat theoretical, but consider that the concept of "citizenship" was pretty murky during the Founding era. At the time of the Constitution, people were citizens of states, not an entity known as the "United States." And citizenship was recognized as conferring certain rights, known as civil rights. These things, like the right to vote and the right to serve on a jury, are indeed rights granted at the will of the government.

Natural rights, on the other hand, exist as a grant from God. Government can infringe on these rights, but when it does so it is acting illegitimately. These rights exist in all men regardless of citizenship. The Founders recognized this and established a federal government that did not have the power to restrict these rights.

Yes, "We the People of the United States" established the Constitution. "We the people" at that time, just like today, included a lot of non-citizens. In fact, in almost all of the 13 original states at the time of the Constitution's adoption, non-citizens could vote. These voters -- citizens and non-citizens alike -- elected conventions that ratified the Constitution. So by your own logic, the rights of non-citizens must be protected because they were part of the "We the People" mentioned in the Constitution.

Anonymous said...


Yes, the context of the creation of our country and the Constitution was a much different environment than we have today.

You'll be happy that you have changed my mind on this subject. Piers is protected by the 1st amendment. I don't like it one bit, but that's the point of the amendment right? I just keep thinking that if someone came into my house as a guest and disrespected my wife, I'd kick them out. No what I mean?

I have to be careful of becoming one of the people I despise-- those that would ignore the Constitution instead of pursue the proper path to amend it.

My opinion is, and I'm curious what you think about this, is that the founders would be mad as hell at our current state of affairs. I would propose an amendment that defined non citizens rights, differentiating between legal and illegal.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Great conversation. I'll get the book you mentioned.

Anonymous said...

To 2:54, I'm humbled that you've come around to my way of thinking. Internet discussions usually devolve into name calling, so this civil discourse is a nice change of pace.

As far as the Founders go, I'm sure they'd be mad as hall at our current state of affairs, but I think they'd reserve most of their ire for the huge monstrosity of a central government, our massive meddling in foreign nations, and the decline in virtue among the populace.

In the Founders' day, the country had open borders, so they may also be outraged that our nation has such a restrictive immigration system and spends so much money (and infringes on so many liberties) by trying to keep people out of the country. The Founders were very open to immigration and didn't really care about the citizen vs. non-citizen divide that so many people fixate on today.

I do know what you mean about Morgan's comments rubbing you the wrong way. I don't like them either, but that's what freedom is about. We don't need freedom to support the stuff we agree with; we need freedom to protect the stuff we disagree with.

Anonymous said...

Think real hard and come up with something that you ALL can agree with.The only thing I get from the aforementioned comments is complete dissention.Everyone is at odds,from politicians to the everyday citizens like us.We may as well call it quits if no compromised can be reached.

Anonymous said...


I don't like compromise when one side is right and the other wrong.

I admitted that I was wrong.