Speech in the U.S. is not as restricted as you think it is. There are Klan rallies, neo-nazis marching, and Web sites filled with all manner of racial and religious hate. It's a complicated issues for places like Germany, where that kind of thing is illegal, given that the Internet is does not care about geograhic borders.
> My gut feeling says, 'legally ban all violent films and music with hateful lyrics", but that's a dangerous domino to push over.
Indeed. As you say, who gets to be the gatekeepers, and who keeps them in check? There is a lot of art with a great deal of merit that might not pass muster. Some Kirosowa and Kubrick films might not make it. How about Schindler's List?
> those artists are the enemy of the people. They 'take' instead of 'give'.
You might be talking about Fifty Cent. He'd say that he's just singing about his own reality. We'd say he's glorifying violence and anti-social behavior, and profiting from it.
> Companies TELL people what they want to buy.
That's true to some extent, but if we're all that sheep-like and pliable, we might as well just shoot ourselves. Gangsta rap wasn't the idea of a marketing guy in some corporation. But marketing helps push along trends. Eventually, they run their course, no matter how hard companies push.
> Canada is a passive country
> It is this 'gap' that is at the root of much of the violence we see in the U.S.
If that's the case, then the issue is not violent media, but the gap in wealth. But the U.S. was even more violent when the income gap was narrower. There's more to it than that.
<i>Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.</i> -- MLK