A wrenching national search for solutions to the violence that left 20 children dead in Newtown,Conn.,all but ended Wednesday after the Senate defeated several measures to expand gun control.
In rapid succession,a bipartisan compromise to expand background checks for gun buyers,a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high-capacity gun magazines all failed to get the 60 votes needed under an agreement between both parties. Senators also turned back Republican proposals to expand permission to carry concealed weapons and focus law enforcement efforts on prosecuting gun crimes.
Sitting in the Senate gallery with other survivors of recent mass shootings and their family members,Lori Haas,whose daughter was shot at Virginia Tech,and Patricia Maisch,a survivor of the mass shooting in Arizona,shouted together,Shame on you.
President Obama,speaking at the White House after the votes,echoed the cry,calling it a pretty shameful day for Washington.
Opponents of gun control from both parties said they made their decisions based on logic,and that passions had no place in the making of momentous policy.
It was a striking defeat for one of Obamas highest priorities,on an issue that has consumed much of the country since Adam Lanza opened fire in the halls of Sandy Hook in December.