Is there an evil worse than killing children? Is there anything more heart wrenching than the feeling of absolute helplessness when we fail to protect them?

If Newtown, Conn., shooter Adam Lanza had not taken his own life, millions would want him dead. Part of this tragedy is that the person responsible cannot be brought to justice. The entire event played out by his rules. The lack of justice compounds the loss of life. It makes the hurt worse.

The calls for increased gun control after the Newtown, Conn. shooting are an emotional reaction. This happens every single time a public shooting becomes a national tragedy. It is also always demonstrably wrongheaded and potentially deadly.

Gun control deters violent crime about as well as the death penalty does. Worse, stricter gun control is the surest way to ensure that virtually every would-be shooter is successful.

Two days after the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, a gunman in San Antonio, Texas, attempted to open fire on a movie crowd watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Luckily, the man’s gun jammed. Even more fortuitous, there was an off-duty police officer on the scene. The officer fired four shoots, hitting the gunman with one.

When Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and five others were shot in Tuscon, Ariz., last January, the man who wrestled the gunman to the ground before he could continue killing had a carry-and-conceal weapon. Twenty-four-year-old Joe Zamudio admitted being armed gave him the confidence to tackle convicted shooter Jared Lee Loughner. Zamudio said, “I was ready to end his life.”

Here is a list of potential national tragedies that were prevented thanks to an armed populace (compiled by the Libertarian Party): “A 1997 high school shooting in Pearl, Miss., was halted by the school’s vice principal after he retrieved the Colt .45 he kept in his truck; A 1998 middle school shooting ended when a man living next door heard gunfire and apprehended the shooter with his shotgun; A 2002 law school shooting in Grundy, Va., came to an abrupt conclusion when students carrying firearms confronted the shooter; A 2007 mall shooting in Ogden, Utah, ended when an armed off-duty police officer intervened; A 2009 workplace shooting in Houston, Texas, was halted by two coworkers who carried concealed handguns; A 2012 church shooting in Aurora, Colo., was stopped by a member of the congregation carrying a gun.”

These are just a few examples spanning 15 years. If the people who prevented these crimes were legally prevented from having the firearms that helped them prevent these crimes — as many both on the Left and the Right now want — America would very likely be remembering a dozen more national tragedies.

There really is no way to predict or ultimately prevent these random tragedies, except if you’re lucky enough to have an armed person nearby. This is a basic truth that anti-gun liberals are blind to. Banning knives would not have stopped Jack the Ripper. Banning guns will not stop the overwhelming majority of the crazed few who seek to open fire on the public.

If liberals get their way on gun control, more innocents will die. I’m not saying the Left wants this to happen. I am saying that what they want legislatively will ultimately allow these kinds of tragedies to occur. In the end, there isn’t much difference between the two.