It just bugs me that everyone always complains how much violence there is in america today. This just SCREAMS ignorance of the facts. Violence in society always comes and goes in cycles, and actually, we've seen a steady DECLINE in per capita violence since its most recent peak in about 1993. We've been on an 8 year steady DECLINE of violent crime, and people still think we're going to hell in a handbasket. In fact, we're at approximately a 30-year low! AND, this is a 30-year low is considering # of cases of violent crime; but the population has increased over that time and so, per capita, we're in even more of a low because not only are the number of crimes at a 30-year minimum, the population is at a 30-year maximum. Looking at statistics gathered here: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/tables/4meastab.htm we see that serious violent crime has been almost cut in half between 1993 and 2000, which is almost 50% in only 7 years! Considering per capita violence, we'd see more than a 50% reduction, in fact. And, I'd wager that most of the people who are so up in arms about society today have never personally witnessed anything more violent than a football game (well, maybe a hockey game). I think the real problem is that the media has become so sensationalized, that they have to hype up every event, and they always have to try to portray the country as seeped with crime, even though for many people, this is one of the safest, if not THE safest, time in their lives. And people get SO worked up over highly tragic, yet unlikely, scenarios. Take the fear of school shootings -- compared to the odds that your child was to be killed in a school shooting, the odds are something like 4 times greater that they'd be killed by being crushed under a vending machine, 40 times greater that they'd be killed in their own home by a family member, and hundreds of times greater that they'd be killed in a car accident. Now, of course, the 3 or so school shootings we had were very tragic, but it's hardly a likely or common occurance, and certainly nothing to worry about. Many schools have taken what precautions they can, so really, if you want your child to be safest, make them wear seat belts (and wear them properly) all the time. Death by car accident is the leading cause of death for people 6-27, so if you want to worry about your child's safety, here's the place to start.