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BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) _ Thursday’s point-blank assassination of a Virginia Tech campus policeman is sure to renew the gun control battle in all its fury before the General Assembly next month.

The debate had quieted somewhat in the nearly five years since a student in a murderous rage shot and killed 32 people at Virginia Tech.

But with Republicans expecting House and Senate majorities and a pro-gun Republican governor, conservatives are lathered and taking aim at Virginia’s one-handgun-a-month law.

And prospects of closing Virginia’s so-called gun show loophole appear to have slipped from slim to nil.

That won’t stop those who lost loved ones at Tech in 2007 from trying as a confident and mighty gun-rights lobby brings its ambitious 2012 agenda before the most beholden and gun-friendly legislature in modern times.