The school shooting in Newtown, Conn. is prompting debates like this around the country, but Chicago was home to 506 murders last year and Emanuel is well aware of that. He is also a strong advocate for gun control.
"There's federal legislation today as it relates to shotguns, that is a clip no more than three at any time," Emanuel said. "We are more protective of ducks than we are of kids."
Chicago's mayor says he is working on an ordinance that would restrict guns more tightly in Chicago after a year when the city saw more than 500 homicides.
Speaking on the panel debating solutions to the issue of gun violence in the US, Emanuel said he believes we need stronger laws banning assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips, legislation that has stalled in Springfield.
The panel included diverse opinions including a former congressman strongly endorsed by the NRA. Tom Brokaw moderated the discussion.
"This is a big issue, so America's leaders need to be in lock step on this thing and say, 'This is what we think is going to solve the problem," said former congressman Steve Latourette.
"I would not worry that the United States Congress will do too much," Emanuel said.
Several of the panelists said they believe this has been a productive conversation. They believe that more conversation is needed, but are hoping for some solutions that will come out this that will take advantage of the time period we are in right now.