Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Friday declared America a violent country, and she blamed the media, Hollywood and street crime for the Wild West culture.
In a House budget hearing, Sebelius also said that violence in American culture has a "desensitization" effect that can push the mentally ill over the edge.
"I am concerned certainly about the pervasive culture of violence both throughout media, in the entertainment industry, in movies, on TV, in video games, but also on our street corners," she told the House Ways and Means Committee.
She said some children "live in extraordinary violence."
Under questioning by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, she added that "I think we have a culture of violence in this country that is alarming, it clearly has different impact on different people, but there's no question that it does have at minimum a desensitization for a lot of developing minds about what the impact of violence is and certainly for someone who is disturbed may have an even more frightening impact."