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Within the past couple of days police managed to thwart a planned mass shooting at the University of Central Florida. It would have been a massacre had things broken just a little differently.

Yesterday saw the Campus of Indiana University Purdue’s Indianapolis Campus locked down for several hours after sightings of a gunman on campus were reported. Turned out to be a false alarm, but it’s a sign of the times that police can’t afford anything other than an all out push to forestall a possible tragedy.

You want to know how frequent this type of event is, just search “university” and “gunman” on Google. Varying the second search term gets even more hits. Count the number of times you find the perpetrators armed with semi-automatic, high-capacity guns. Weapons of choice for campus attacks seem to be assault weapons equipped with the capacity to shoot many rounds. So much fun, evidently, to shoot fish in a barrel while equipped with military-style weapons. (And no – I don’t want anyone to be shot in the cross-fire from gun-carrying students and faculty wildly responding to a mass-shooter.)

Then recollect that the Supreme Court ruling, District of Columbia v Heller, that affirmed the right of individuals to own guns, also affirmed the legitimacy of reasonable restrictions.

Recently, Harry Reid dropped Senator Diane Feinstein’s proposed ban on military assault-type weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines from gun-violence legislation currently making its way through congress. Fun fact: these are among the characteristics described by the NRA’s propaganda blitz on behalf of the gun industry as “cosmetic.”

One more piece of grist for the mill:

The NRA donated $841,337 to Republicans and $115,150 to Democrats in the 2012 election cycle.

Is the picture clear enough for you yet?

* Slightly corrected: Original fifth paragraph merged with third.