It IS media. Would you feel relatively safe from violent crime if you lived on a hypothetical island somewhere in, say, the Pacific Ocean with a population that remained stable at about 500 people and about once every 20 or 30 years a couple of people would have a severe spat and, in the heat of the moment, one killed the other? I think I would feel reasonably safe. If you agree that this is a reasonably safe and acceptable murder rate, then you necessarily agree that the murder rate in the United States of America is reasonably safe BECAUSE THEY ARE THE SAME. What makes the data SCARY is its presentation in a sensational manner which is designed to keep you glued to the set where you will watch advertisements. Also, you may FEEL as though your locality had less crime when you were younger because you didn't hear about it twice a day, but that's not likely to be your reality. The US hasn't changed. Mass murders involving children perpetrated in despicable ways that boggle the mind have ALWAYS happened. At one time they fueled the rationale for lobotomizing mental patients. Now they fuel the rationale for the erosion of the Bill of Rights. Don't get caught up. Take a deep breath, calm down, keep a cool head. Stay in front of the wave, don't be a sheep trotting happily to slaughter. When you say "Why have Americans become so stupid and psychotic" make absolutely sure that you are not describing yourself. Also, make sure you are not deluding yourself.