The White House officially responded Wednesday to a petition that sought deport CNN host Piers Morgan because of his views on gun control.


"Let’s not let arguments over the Constitution’s Second Amendment violate the spirit of its First," White House spokesman Jay Carney wrote. "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."

He added, "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."

In response to the news, Morgan tweeted, "Thanks for keeping me, Mr President @BarackObama - much appreciated."

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones started the petition after Morgan called for more restrictive gun laws in the wake of the tragic Newtown elementary school shooting. The petition, which alleged the former British tabloid editor was "engaged in a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution," quickly gained more than enough signatures required for an official White House response.

During an eccentric interview on CNN, Jones explained the petition was to show that Morgan was "a foreigner, a redcoat, here telling us what to do."