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Opinion: College campus shootings aren’t common. Let’s not turn campuses into fortresses.

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We may never fully make sense of the seemingly senseless attack on the Michigan State University campus that claimed the lives of three promising students and sent five others to the hospital with critical injuries. Regardless of what motivated the 43-year-old suicidal assailant to turn the MSU campus — to which he had no apparent connection — into his own personal battlefield, the impact on the grieving families and on the entire campus community will be long-lasting.

The shocking news and videos of a campus under siege — just 15 months after the deadly shooting at Oxford High School — also has a ripple effect well beyond the East Lansing campus with many concerned parents of students sensing that such tragedies are the “new normal.” In a CNN interview shortly after the massacre, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel spoke for countless parents worried about the safety of their children when they venture off to college. “It is going to be a miracle,” recalled Nessel, “If we get these kids through four years of college without some sort of an incident like this taking place, because they happen so frequently.”

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