Violence sells. Take a trendy teen novel featuring beautiful youths pitted against each other in mortal combat, adapt it to the big screen, and you will have a blockbuster on your hands. Organize a team of men or women who are willing to risk bodily injury in their pursuit of athletic glory, and the fans not only will come, they will empty their wallets and clamor for more. American culture has long assumed that the vitality of our economy is dependent on our ability to maintain a strong and mobile fighting force, so few people object to the allocation of a significant portion of our tax dollars to the building of weapons whose primary purpose is to kill and to maim. Indeed, there is a tacit assumption that violence is simply unavoidable. It is the way of the world, we say, and it is sometimes necessary if peace and prosperity are going to prevail. Anyway, violence sells, and anything that keeps our economy moving can’t be all bad.