It still puts a grin on my face, when I see people trying so hard to be PC. --Just speak your mind, and let the cards fall where they may. Worrying about hurting peoples tender little feeling is a no win situation. Each attempt at appeasement, only makes their feeling more tender. People need to learn to get over their wimpy selves, if they plan to be around long in this dog eat dog world.
"Don't be particular bout nothin, but the company you keep"
At close quarters other weapons are just as effective, such as knives.
However, there are some problems with a self-defense plan that excludes firearms.
Just for background, I used to be a martial arts instructor. I still teach short-course hand-to-hand, as well as knives, guns and impact weapons.
It is good to be well-rounded, and a martial arts background helps. However there are situations where only a firearm will give you a reasonable chance of coming out in one piece. If the **** starts more than 5-10' distance and the other guy has a gun, you're in trouble if you don't have a gun of your own. Multiple attackers are another problem... most street criminals work in pairs, some work in gangs of 3 or 4 or more. Home invasions is another scenario where guns are the only thing likely to give you a decent chance.
About knives... knives have their uses, but many drawbacks. Don't fool yourself - a knife is EVERY BIT as much a lethal weapon in the eyes of the law as a 9mm Glock. As far as the law is concerned there is no such thing as "less lethal" use of a knife. In many districts knives are viewed as the weapons of thugs, and their use may taint a self-defense claim in the eyes of the jury.
Knife vs Knife is a good way to get killed. An old Kali master once said "the winner of a knife fight is the guy who dies the next day." You typically won't emerge from a knife vs knife fight with a whole skin, at best.
In any case, the way knives are mostly used in reality is either as a threat to gain compliance, or as a weapon of stealthy murder or assassination. Knife vs knife fights are rare; they mean somebody screwed up because most of the time a criminal actually uses a knife it is meant to be an ambush or assassination.
Aikido is useful but it generally won't save your bacon against multiple attackers armed with knives, clubs or guns... or even unarmed multiple attackers. I don't care how easy O-sensei made it look in randori, multiple attackers can kick the crap out of you unless you're both good and lucky.
The most effective tool for personal self-defense is the handgun, period. Granted, along with it you need training, skills, judgement, self-restraint and a cool head, but when you need a gun you typically need one bad.
Fiddling While Rome Burns
Carthago Delenda Est
"I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."
I have a CCW license and rarely carry-have a 40 locked in a quick access box in the trunk and an airweight smith 38 in the glove box. I almost always carry a spyderco or CRKT knife and I have had lots of knife training. We have an armed security guard in our office so I don't carry there.
I have also helped teach dozens of CCW classes and have taught many many people how to shoot including a boy who never shot before he entered the USNA at Annapolis. His graduation present from me was to teach him how to shoot the M16 and the M9 and he qualified expert in both