Another interesting passage from Marc MacYoung:
There are going be a number of people who will think I'm nuttier than hell for saying what I'm about to say, but I'm going to say it anyway. Women, I think your best home defense weapon is a sword. There are a variety of reasons why I say this. The first and foremost is safety, nor only for you but others. Whether have roommates, boyfriends/ husbands, or children. it all boils down 10 one thing; it's harder to accidentally kill someone with a sword than it is with a gun.
Now back to the sword as a home defense weapon for women. Aside from the fact that accidentally hurting someone seriously with a sword is damn near impossible, the other advantage is that it's always ready for use. If you leave it lying under or behind your bed, it is always handy in case someone tries to break in. You don't have to fumble after bullets, etc. Once you have that blade in your hand, you are ready.
The next nice thing about a sword is, unlike a baseball bat, it's a bad idea for an attacker to rush it. A three and a half foot long straight razor is not something that you charge. Also, unlike a bat, it's not the brightest move someone can make to try and grab it away from you—unless they're really keen on the idea of getting busted down to raccoon status. You know: all the mischief, and no opposable thumbs to do it with. You can also lunge extremely effectively with a sword, Baseball bats don't get the point across as well. I don't care if he's got a leather jacket on, a lunge will go through it. All of this adds up and keeps any intruder at a serious distance from you.
In case you're going, "But what if he has a gun?" there are two points that I'd like to bring up. One, if he has the gun out already: ever tried to order your finger to pull a trigger when your hand is laying on the floor two feet away? Anywhere you strike with a sword will do enough damage that it's going to distract the son of a bitch a little Two, if he has it in a holster or pocket. you know that you're never to let his hands out of sight. If he goes for it and you're within ten feet of him, he's worm food.
The final thing that I like about swords as home defense weapons is a matter of severity. One of the reasons that women don't like guns very much is that once you pull the trigger, you have no control over what happens. You can't control whether you're going to wound or kill an intruder, Wounding someone with a gun at point-blank range is a little hard to do. That bullet is traveling at some hellacious speed and the impact is rather fierce. If you're not quite ready to accept killing someone in the defense of self and home, you can just maim 'em with a sword. A foot and a half of steel through the gut will take the fight out of damn near anybody. Lop off his hand when he's reaching out to grab you—that'll teach him to keep his hands to himself. Laying some guy's thigh open with a ten-inch gash will make sure he hangs around until the police come. "Were you in fear of your life?" "He got close enough for me to nail him with a sword. He was obviously attacking, officer."
For obvious reasons this reminded me of the passage in Robert Heinlein’s “Glory Road”, chapter 15:
“A properly balanced sword is the most versatile weapon for close quarters ever devised. Pistols and guns are all offense, no defense; close on him fast and a man with a gun can’t shoot, he has to stop you before you reach him. Close on a man carrying a blade and you’ll be spitted like a roast pigeon—unless you have a blade and can use it better than he can.
A sword never jams, never has to be reloaded, is always ready. Its worst shortcoming is that it takes great skill and patient, loving practice to gain that skill; it can’t be taught to raw recruits in weeks, nor even months.
But most of all (and this was the real reason) to grasp the Lady Vivamus and feel her eagerness to bite gave me courage in a spot where I was scared spitless.”