Maybe the violence depicted in movies and books is not so gratuitous after all, despite the charges one often hears. There's now this interesting study: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/258423.php
"Perhaps depictions of violence that are perceived as meaningful, moving and thought-provoking can foster empathy with victims, admiration for acts of courage and moral beauty in the face of violence, or self-reflection with regard to violent impulses..."
We shall never agree on this. Violence has a place in writing, but it must be used responsibly. (And I'm sick of the Japan example you trot out consistently. Their society and value systems are very different from ours, and they have a history of fiction that places violence within a framework that separates it from real-life situations. And what are their gun laws like???).
And what are their gun laws like???
I think you might be on to something!