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Piers Morgan ends CNN show with gun-control plea

By Lynn Elber

AP Television Writer

LAST UPDATED: 12:06 a.m. HST, Mar 29, 2014

LOS ANGELES » CNN host Piers Morgan issued one last plea for U.S. gun control as he wrapped up his show's three-year run.

Morgan devoted the prime-time show's final minutes Friday night to the issue that he said has been a "consistent and often very controversial" part of "Piers Morgan Live."

The British-born host cited gun violence statistics and expressed dismay that mass shootings including those in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., haven't led to stricter laws.

Morgan blamed politicians that he said had been bullied into "cowardly" silence by a gun lobby led by the National Rifle Association.

A message seeking comment from the NRA was left Friday night with an answering service at its headquarters.

Piers concluded with remarks addressed to his critics.

"To those who claim my gun control campaign has been anti-American, well, the reverse is true. I'm so pro-American I want more of you to stay alive," he said, adding, "Now it's down to you."

Morgan is a former U.K. tabloid editor who reinvented himself as a TV personality with stints as a judge on "Britain's Got Talent" and its U.S. spinoff, NBC's "America's Got Talent," and as a contestant on "Celebrity Apprentice."

In 2011, he succeeded longtime CNN host Larry King in the 9 p.m. Eastern time slot, but drew increasingly paltry ratings. He has said that CNN's audience tired of hearing a Brit weigh in American cultural issues.

Last fall, the already struggling "Piers Morgan Live" faced increased competition from a revised Fox News Channel lineup that included a strong new performer opposite Morgan with Megyn Kelly's "The Kelly File."

When the show's end was announced last month, Morgan said he was in discussions with CNN regarding a new role. The channel said then that his future was undetermined.

Morgan served as editor of The Daily Mirror from 1995 to 2004. He has been questioned in connection with Britain's long-running phone hacking scandal, which has led to numerous arrests, resignations and the closure of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid.

In February, Morgan confirmed that he was interviewed in December by British police investigating the illegal interception of telephone voicemails. Morgan, who said he had given a previous witness statement, has consistently denied wrongdoing.

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cojef wrote:
Bye, see you later, really perhaps never.
on March 29,2014 | 05:31AM
serious wrote:
Illinois has the strictest gun control laws--in Chicago, in a few more years there will be none left but the killers--then they can arrest them!! Guns aren't the problem--look at the numbers!! Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC--check the % of minorities!
on March 29,2014 | 05:46AM
HOSSANA wrote:
Good riddance! Bring back Larry King and I do hope Piers can pontificate all he wants when he returns to England but not here in good old USA where the only persons with guns will be the damm gangstas etc...just like prohibition.....the only people with liquor were the gangstas...outlaw guns and the only people that will have guns will be the damm punks...how stupid is that law anyway......
on March 29,2014 | 06:58AM
9ronboz wrote:
"I'm so pro-American." Really? Based on which statement?
on March 29,2014 | 07:48AM
cojef wrote:
Naw! he intended it to be his, "in your face" statement, that is why he chose the subject matter, gun control. Ungrateful a-s-ho-e after having his followers listen to tirade over this issue.
on March 29,2014 | 10:39AM
paradisetax wrote:
What? I thought he was deported.
on March 29,2014 | 08:09AM
redneckMT wrote:
I hope the British police keep up their investigation of this charlatan.
on March 29,2014 | 08:54AM
Duck wrote:
When seconds count, The police are just minutes away.
on March 29,2014 | 03:35PM
yhls wrote:
Good riddance.
on March 29,2014 | 04:35PM
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