From Ann Althouse, a brilliant point about the response to the Sandy Hook murders:
It occurred to me, after the Sandy Hook murders, that blaming guns is a secular substitute for blaming the devil. People find it too challenging to figure out why a human being would do this terrible thing and they latch on to the idea that the gun made it happen. Suicide presents a similar challenge, and one way to fathom it is to say: It was the gun. Isn’t it like saying the devil made him do it? The gun/the devil is a great go-to answer, freeing you from wracking your brain about the workings of the human mind.