In response to Larry Eby's letter "What we tolerate leads to violence" (Mailbag: Nov. 13):
I have always been intrigued at the level of mayhem we manage to cram into our so-called movie enjoyment, but am not sure how much it contributes to the mass-murder syndrome we are currently suffering.
Americans truly hate being compared to other nations on any level, but let's compare our country to Japan for a minute or so. That perplexing society has been responsible for some of the worst acts of wartime brutality in the history of mankind and has a movie and literary culture that embraces extreme violence as well accepted and serious art forms. Yet, in 2015, Japan had eight gun deaths. Firearms are hard to come by. Less than one person in 100 has one.
Admittedly, someone there goes on an occasional rampage with other weaponry, seemingly about once every four or five years. We in the USA, however, with just three times their population, manage to clock up about 35,000 gun-related deaths every year, and mass killings have sadly become almost monthly events. We collectively own just about one weapon per head of population.
I suggest we leave Schwarzenegger out of the blame game. Ours is a violent culture. Always has been since birth. Probably wont change much however much we fiddle with gun laws or censorship.
Arnold is not encouraging us in aberrant and anti-social behavior, just endorsing what's been there all along.
Albany (Nov. 13)