Proponents of gun control are baffled that horrific massacres such as the one in Aurora, Colorado, do not lead to stricter gun control. They have their causation backward.

The more terrifyingly criminal the world looks, the more ineffective law enforcement seems, the more Americans demand the right to deadly weapons with which to defend themselves. It is local TV programming directors, not the National Rifle Association, who are tirelessly persuading Americans that they need to strap a gun to their legs before heading to the mall.

And what will change those attitudes is not more atrocity stories, but instead the reassuring truth: The United States is safe and getting safer, safer than ever before in its history.

The police can protect you, and will, and do. And a gun in the house is not a guarantee of personal security — it is instead a standing invitation to family tragedy.