WASHINGTON—Appearing visibly drained as they pushed well beyond their previous best for rational discourse on the issue, the exhausted American public told reporters Thursday they were uncertain whether they had the stamina to continue a national dialogue on gun control for a fifth consecutive day. “It’s hard to believe, but we’ve been going at this nationwide conversation on sensible gun control measures pretty hard since Sunday, so I really don’t know how much longer we can keep this up before we hit a wall,” said Arthur Handler, 37, of Portland, ME, who explained that the population was only used to discussing gun laws for two, or at most three days before running out of steam, so they were now stretching themselves to their physical and mental limits. “It’s not that we don’t want to keep going—we do. It’s just that we tend to wrap up our typical national dialogue in 48 hours or so, and right now, we’re nearing a full week of this kind of constructive talk. I’m not even sure how we’ve pushed ourselves this far. I really hope we have more than just a few hours of engaged debate left in us.” At press time, the clearly worn-out nation could feel itself faltering slightly in its efforts to push for expanded background checks and was desperately hoping for a second wind.