I have endured sexual assault. In my case a gun would have been worthless. A gun wouldn't make me feel any safer. Women aren't the only ones that are sexually assaulted either. It actually really irks me when people single out women as the only victims of sexual assault. Men and boys are victimized too. For the average victim a gun would be pretty worthless since most sexual assault victims are abused by people they know/trust not random strangers.
I like knives. Sure they can be great self defense weapons if used correctly. But they have a purpose outside of self defense or hunting. I use the knife I keep in my purse on a daily basis.
Self defense in reference to strangers starts with knowing how to keep out of dangerous situations. An actual self defense course such as Krav Maga would be far more useful than a gun. Owning a gun (or knife) is useless if you don't know how to use it. And to really know how to use a gun you need to do more than target practice every few weeks/months. Most people can't target practice on a daily basis. Knowing how to shoot a gun in theory won't actually guarantee that you will do so in a dangerous situation. It is one thing to shoot at a target, another altogether to shoot another human being. There is a reason why the military has to work so hard to condition soldiers to shoot/attack. Unless you are semi sociopathic it isn't all that easy to kill someone. It isn't instinctual to kill someone unless you have trained hours and hours and broken down the instinct not to kill that is there inherently.
If you are going to shoot a person, you shoot to kill. Center mass and head shots only. It isn't like in the movies where you shoot them in the leg/arm in hopes of stopping them. This is why I am more comfortable with knives. I can incapacitate a person with a well placed knife cut, I don't have to go for the "kill shots" so to speak. There are defenses to the "defanging the snake" techniques that need to be practiced so they become instinctual. But that isn't the same as practicing to kill someone. Yes, I could kill someone with a knife by virtue of them bleeding out. But it is one thing to aim to incapacitate versus kill.
Even though I have endured plenty of things I would not wish on anyone else, I still wouldn't take the idea of ending someone else's life lightly in defending myself. Honestly I don't want to get to the point where it would be easy to kill someone even in self defense. I know for me personally if I were to cross that threshold it would change me on a fundamental level. I have enough violent/angry tendencies to deal with already.
Now- you try to harm my kids and your life is OVER.
I think there is some sort of overriding instinct there that is uncontrollable. So I really do pity the person on the otherside of my knives if they harm or attempt to harm my children.