'Our hearts are broken. Our spirit is not'

Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was among those killed in the Newtown massacre, has said families of the victims are heartbroken at the Senate's blocking of gun ownership legislation but will continue to campaign for stronger weapon controls.

He issued an emotional plea at the White House after a plan aimed at expanding background checks for gun buyers failed to receive enough support in a vote.

With President Obama looking on, Mr Barden said: "We always knew this would be a long road. We don't have the luxury of turning back."

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Big blow to Obama's gun pledge

President Barack Obama has suffered a large setback in his bid to curb gun violence in the America after the US Senate failed to reach the 60 votes needed to pass a plan to expand background checks for firearms.