I was searching for some good phrases to use for a gun-safety lecture, and ran across this article on why Japan has such a low rate of violent crime. The author is associated with the conservative Cato institute, but the article presents a reasoned counter-argument to the idea that eliminating guns would eliminate violence.
Instead, the unstated conclusion is that the violence in American culture may be a byproduct of our national values of independence and empowerment. If you tell people that they're special and equip them with a can-do attitude, one of the things they can-do is attack people.
The article also contains a number of other observations and history about Japanese culture that make it worth reading by itself. One that surprised me was that the Japanese police force requires 90 hours of training in judo, and that over 60% of their officers are highly-ranked judo competitors.