Many Democratic lawmakers want to consider new laws restricting high-volume magazines, many of which currently allow gun owners to fire 30 rounds without reloading. Some Republicans agree, as does the American mainstream. What's more, limits on the size of clips are entirely constitutional.
Any chance this might be the sort of common-sense proposal the NRA can live with? Apparently not.
David Gregory presented Wayne LaPierre with a compelling quote from Larry Alan Burns, federal district judge of San Diego who sentenced Jared Loughner. Burns, a gun owner and NRA supporter, was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush, so it stood out when he wrote:
"Bystanders got to Tucson shooter, Jared Loughner and subdued him only after he emptied one 30 round magazine and was trying to load another. Adam Lanza, the Newtown shooter, chose his primary weapon as a semi-automatic rifle with 30-round magazines. And we don't even bother to call the 100-rounder that James Holmes is accused of emptying in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater a magazine, it's a drum. How is this not an argument for regulating the number of rounds a gun can fire? I get it. Someone bent on mass murder, who has only a ten-round magazine or a revolver at his disposal probably is not going to abandon his plan and instead try to talk his problems out. But we might be able to take the 'mass' out of 'mass shooting,' or at least make the perpetrator's job a bit harder."
But LaPierre refuses to even consider the possibility that smaller clips might -- might -- save American lives.
In LaPierre's mind, it's possible armed guards at elementary schools can save lives, so Americans owe it to themselves to try, but since, as he sees it, it's not possible limits on high-capacity clips can save lives, such an idea must be taken off the table.
I'm beginning to think the NRA isn't prepared for a grown-up conversation. Perhaps the political world should evaluate the group's credibility accordingly.