On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski and former Cruz spokesperson Rick Tyler discussed the news of a bipartisan gun bill aimed at streamlining background checks.
Brzezinski noted that polling shows record support for a full nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons.
"Another all-time high for this poll," she said. "And 91% believe anyone convicted of a violent crime should be barred from buying a gun. Those numbers come as a Senate bipartisan-backed bill on gun control is expected to be announced today.
The plan, written by Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Chris Murphy, provides incentives to states to strengthen the criminal and mental health history needed to bar unfit purchasers from buying a gun. In exchange, the plan would withhold bonuses for federal agencies that do not meet standards, she said.
"We don't want to criticize progress in some ways, but is this almost symbolic change?" she asked Tyler.
As might be expected, Tyler criticized the bill on the basis that it wouldn't have prevented some of the most recent shootings.
"Look, we have a national speed limit that says you have to keep -- and the states enforce them. We don't have a federal government enforcing speed limits. You're saying let the states handle this," Tyler said.
"At the same time what are the laws that would have prevented -- in other words there wasn't a law in Las Vegas. He shouldn't have had it but he was able to purchase them. In California, he had two other firearms that didn't belong to him. He also illegally possessed those guns. I want to know what the solution is.
"In other words you have the Second Amendment. There is a way to amend the Second Amendment. It is long and hard but we can't pretend there isn't a Second Amendment," Tyler said.
Way to sidestep, Rick! An assault weapons ban, as we all know, is pretty effective -- after all, it worked the last time. The real reason hired guns like Tyler will attack this bill is because it's a beginning.
And once a bill breaks the NRA's third rail around gun laws, members of Congress might get the idea that they really can do something about the gun slaughters.