In an astonishingly rare moment of honesty Karl Rove announced that the only way to prevent gun violence in America would be to “repeal the Second Amendment”. Speaking with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday in the wake of the Charleston shooting, the man known as “Bush’s Brain” uttered words only a liberal would dare mention. After Wallace asked Rove whether there was any way to stop violence in America, Rove said:
Maybe there’s some magic law that will keep us from having more of these. I mean basically the only way to guarantee that we will dramatically reduce acts of violence involving guns is to basically remove guns from society, and until somebody gets enough “oomph” to repeal the Second Amendment, that’s not going to happen.
Let that sink in for a moment. Karl Rove, the architect behind the election of one of the most right wing Presidents in history is openly admitting that guns are responsible for gun violence in America. This is a huge, huge break from right wing orthodoxy that maintains in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence that ‘guns don’t kill people, people do’.
Rove’s explicit acknowledgement that the only way of guaranteeing the reduction of gun violence would be to remove guns from society is tantamount to admitting trickle-down economics doesn’t redistribute wealth effectively, or that man made climate change is a scientific certainty -unspeakable notions that can never be accepted in Republican circles for fear of destroying their fragile intellectual framework. It is unlikely Rove will double down on his statement given he knows telling the truth runs contrary to Republican political objectives, but his accidental deviation from the collective reality denying cocoon of Right wing idiocy is important nevertheless.
The fact is, Karl Rove is absolutely right – there is no serious way to prevent gun violence in America without getting rid of the actual guns. America, the nation with the most guns in the industrialized world also has the highest amount of gun crime. Only an idiot would argue these two facts are unrelated, but this appears to be standard intellectual rationalization in rightwing circles. Rove’s statement is important because his admission squarely puts the onus gun right advocates – if you don’t support strict gun control you are essentially responsible for gun violence. Rove will no doubt try to clarify his statement and assert his unyielding support for the right to bear arms, but in saying this he accepts gun massacres as a fundamental part of American life.
Karl Rove has unwittingly helped move the gun control debate in America in the right direction. There is no other alternative to stemming the horrendous blight of gun violence, and the sooner the country starts to talk openly about repealing the Second Amendment, the better. If Karl Rove can admit this, then there is cause to hope.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.