Is that why?

As I approached my fiftieth birthday, I had become more and more enraged and mystified by the idiot decisions of my countrymen. And then I had come suddenly to pity them, for I understood how innocent and natural it was for them to behave so abominably, and with such abominable results: They were doing their best to live like people invented in story books. This was the reason Americans shot each other so often: It was a convenient literary device for ending short stories and books.
— Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Breakfast of Champions