National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre on Thursday found himself struggling to explain to Fox News host Megyn Kelly why a ban on high-capacity magazines could not have saved some of the 20 children who were murdered in Newtown, Connecticut last December.
After playing some video of parents of victims speaking to CBS News, Kelly noted that they had made a "powerful" argument that "if Adam Lanza, the shooter at Newtown, had not had 30 round magazines -- if he had only had 10 rounds in these guns -- more children would have lived."
"The people who are going to do horror and terror, they aren't going to cooperate," the NRA chief replied. "All you're going to do is make the law books thicker for the law-abiding people. From the very start, my thought has been about how little this had to do with keeping kids safe and how much it has to do with this decades-long agenda against firearms that some in the political class and the media have had."
"You hear the parents and the spouses of those killed -- there were 20 children and six adults killed," Kelly pointed out, bringing LaPierre back to the point of high-capacity magazines. "Eleven children had a chance to escape as that guy reloaded. And the one man is saying there, if he had to reload five times instead of one time, how many more lives would have been saved?"
"That is, to me, the most compelling argument," the Fox News host added.
"My response is criminals aren't going to have less," LaPierre insisted. "One round in the hand of someone who is going to do horror too many."
"But how do you know, Wayne?" Kelly pressed. "Adam Lanza, his mother was a legal gun owner, and how do you know that his person, that his mother would not have obeyed the law and limited the magazine clip? And then Adam Lanza would have been limited to 10 rounds instead of 30."
"Megyn, people that know guns -- you can change magazine clips in a second," LaPierre remarked. "There's no evidence that anything would have changed."
At a state Senate hearing in Connecticut on Monday, parents of victims told lawmakers that they wanted a complete ban on high-capacity magazines.
"The horrible, brutal truth is that 154 bullets were fired in four minutes, killing our children, our daughters, our wives," Nicole Hockley, whose son was killed in Newtown, said during a Monday press conference. "The shooter carried 10, 30-round large-capacity magazines."
"We have learned that in the time it took him to reload in one of the classrooms, 11 children were able to escape. We ask ourselves every day — every minute — if those magazines had held 10 rounds, forcing the shooter to reload at least six more times, would our children be alive today?"
Watch this video from Fox News' America Live, broadcast April 4, 2013.