7:25pm PT by Aaron Couch
Piers Morgan Ends CNN Run With Gun Control Plea: 'I Want More of You to Stay Alive'
Piers Morgan said goodbye to his CNN show Friday, signing off by delivering an impassioned plea for stricter gun control laws.
The host, who has been a vocal proponent of gun control legislation, said "more guns doesn't mean less crime," and dismissed critics who have called his position anti-American.
"I'm so pro-American, I want more of you to stay alive," Morgan said, after citing statistics about gun violence in the U.S. and evoking the memories of mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and at an Aurora, Colo. screening of The Dark Knight Rises.
The host also thanked members of his "great team" for their "tireless" work, and thanked viewers -- even those who found his British accent annoying.
"We won some. We lost some, but we gave it everything we had. And I've loved every minute -- well almost every minute," Morgan said at the end of the episode. He spent most of the hour covering the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370.
Ahead of his final episode, Morgan tweeted that he was proud of the work he did. "I leave with no regrets, many great memories, and one heartfelt hope -- that America sorts out its insane gun laws," he wrote.
CNN announced the cancellation of Piers Morgan Live in February. In the wake of Morgan's departure, the network has tapped a series of temporary fill-in hosts during its 9 p.m. time slot, including Don Lemon, Jake Tapper, Michael Smerconish and Bill Weir.
But Morgan could potentially continue to work with CNN.
"I’d like to do work -- interviews with big celebrities and powerful people -- that is better suited to what I do well and fit with what [CNN president] Jeff [Zucker] is trying to do with the network," he told The New York Times.