That the executive orders (toothless though they are) were the best that Obama could come up with. I am sure that he felt that he Had To Do Something.
That something wasn't much though.
One could surmise that all the phone calls and emails and faxes and such actually worked. That the Senators and Congressmen heard the voice of the people.The response must have been overwhelming for them to take notice.
The calls for "all the people to contact their legislators" by Mr. Obama show that the support for any gun control legislation is too low for him to push it any farther, so he can only call for Something to Be Done. No one would sponsor any legislation, or he would have announced it today. The fact that he didn't means that no one felt anything would happen, so they chose not to even bring a bill up for consideration. One could even think that the Senators night have told him to shut up about this....
This does not mean, however, that we can relax. Don't let up.
ETA: Peter has a different take.