Did I dream this, or have questions been asked about the legality of "Meet the Press" host David Gregory holding up an empty gun magazine on television while interviewing NRA mouthpiece Wayne LaPierre? Even after NBC asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives if there was any legal question about doing so and was told “no,” some experts now allege that it is a crime to publicly display an empty magazine, carrying a penalty of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. NRA advocates reportedly complained to NBC.

It's legal to carry a loaded weapon in schools, bars, churches, wherever, but not to hold an empty magazine before a camera while discussing the subject of gun control?

This, from The Washington Post: "Gregory used the prop as he posed a question to LaPierre in a segment. ... 'Here’s a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets,' Gregory says. 'Now, isn’t it possible that if we got rid of these' — he sets it down and picks up a smaller one — 'if we replaced them and said, "Well, you can only have a magazine that carries five bullets or 10 bullets," isn’t it just possible that we could reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?' "

How stupid can the public treatment of this subject get? Inherently dangerous action is legal, and intellectual discussion under harmless circumstances is illegal? So, the Second Amendment allows Gregory to pack a loaded weapon on camera, but the First doesn't allow him to display an empty one for purposes of discussion? Does America park its intelligence at the door before entering the debate about gun control?

Goldfarb is a Washington, D.C., attorney and author who has written before about gun control.