Almost every weekday, four Democratic and two Republican lawmakers meet inside a Hartford, Connecticut, conference room to determine the state's response to the Newtown elementary school massacre.
The ritual started March 6. Reporters gather in hallways and wait for a decision while Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy and gun-control advocates seeking tougher laws express increasing frustration at the lack of action.
The logjam is a result of an attempt at bipartisanship that may backfire. The Democrats, who don't need a single Republican vote, nonetheless invited the party to help craft measures in the wake of the Dec. 14 shootings that killed 26 people, including 20 children. Connecticut would show unity in the face of evil, lawmakers said. Three months after the attack, New York and Colorado have tightened firearms laws as the Hartford talks drag on.
"This was an honest attempt for bipartisanship at the outset, given the enormity of what happened here," said Ron Pinciaro, the executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, the state's oldest and largest firearms-control organization. "It has turned out to be a bad idea."