Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell speaks at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, Friday, April 13, 2012.
Michael Conroy/AP

Former state secretary links Isla Vista killings to gay marriage

A conservative pundit who was once Ohio’s Secretary of State has linked the recent shooting and knife rampage in Isla Vista, Calif. to moral decay in America.

Ken Blackwell, a senior fellow with the Family Research Council (FRC), spoke about the “the crumbling of the moral foundation of the country” during an interview with fellow FRC colleague Tony Perkins on Perkins’ radio program “Washington Watch” Tuesday. Perkins prompted his guest by saying he thought the killing was indicative of “something fundamentally, deeply flawed in our culture when people can kill and have no remorse.” Blackwell responded by discussing ”the attack on natural marriage” and “the teaching of sexual roles and the development of human sexuality.” 

“When these fundamental institutions are attacked and destroyed and weakened and abandoned, you get what you are now seeing, and that is a flood of these disturbed people in our society that are causing great, great pain,” Blackwell said. “And as opposed to dealing with the foundation problem, we look for ways of blaming the Second Amendment, or blaming the, blaming knives.”

“At the end of the day, you have just underscored the problem,” he said to Perkins. “This is a convenient way of avoiding talking about what is the root cause.”

When asked about the interview, Blackwell told msnbc that his comments were made in the context of a discussion about the coarsening of our culture “as it pertains to human sexuality, a reverence for life and social decency.”

“Those of us who are defenders of the institution of traditional marriage are capable [of] waging an intellectual case, while respecting the human dignity of individual homosexuals,” he said. “It would make no more sense for anyone to blame [same-sex] marriage for that mass murder, than those who blame gun rights.”

MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin, 5/25/14, 5:10 PM ET

California shooting sparks gun control debate

Zerlina Maxwell, Bob Franken, and Ken Blackwell of the Brain Trust panel join Craig Melvin to discuss the California killing spree and whether universal background checks should be required to purchase guns.
Blackwell made similar comments during an appearance on msnbc this past Sunday, saying gun rights should not be the focus of discussion stemming from last Saturday’s killings.

“People seem to be concerned about the information that was kept from the public based on [the killer’s] First Amendment rights, and all of the sudden the conversation is going to go to the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens, when the weapons that were used by this individual were a car, a knife, and guns,” he said in an interview with msnbc’s Craig Melvin. “Let’s talk about what it is in our system that doesn’t flag this sort of personality early in the process.” 

In addition to working for the Family Research Council, Blackwell also serves on the board for the National Rifle Association

California, Gay Rights, Marriage Equality and Ohio

Former state secretary links Isla Vista killings to gay marriage