I doubt anyone really likes violence, but I prefer mine to take place off-screen. There's just something about the power of suggestion, isn't there? The same rule applies in novels or movies. Maybe it's just me and my twisted mind, but I can usually come up with something more frightening then what the writer or producer can. Even though I know it's just chocolate syrup, there's very little more frightening then the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
My aversion to violence, however healthy that may be, doesn't mean I can't dish it out. I can disassemble and reassemble an M-16 (though not in the dark, much to my father's disappointment). And, while I never qualified as a "marksman" I can hold my own. I prefer the handguns my husband and I use for target practice and can out-shoot the love of my life, though he doesn't like to be reminded of that. I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, giving me an understanding of hand-to-hand combat and the amount of damage that can be caused just with kicks and hits.
But when I read or watch TV or pay big-bucks for a movie ticket, I do so to relax. To escape from the stress of everyday life. To forget about the real evils people are capable of committing all over the world. So I don't want to have the violence in my face.
Mayhem, though, is another topic. As a mystery writer and reader, I enjoy the mayhem, the confusion, the misdirection, the puzzle. To me, this is a part of everyday life. Don't think so? Try explaining your favorite topic to someone who isn't interested -- it's like me trying to explain knitting or painting to someone who doesn't value creative expression. Or explaining colors to someone who is color blind. Talk about confusion!
In my opinion, it's mayhem that keeps life interesting. Violence, though, I can do without!