Thank you Plebian for your illumination on the subject. Off topic, but interesting nonetheless. Encountering an edged weapon on the street can be more intimidating than facing a firearm, especially when within grasping distance.
We have all heard about never bringing a knife to a gun fight, and I would also say most, if not all of us, have heard about the "21 foot rule" when facing an assailant with an edged weapon. Putting hits on a knife weilding attacker may not be enough to prevent him from closing the distance and cutting your throat.
A handgun can be neutralized easier in contact distance than an edged weapon. Firearms are standoff weapons and once that distance is closed their best advantage is lost. This is why many experienced fighters carry an edged weapon of some sort for that last resort type of encounter when the distance is reduced to zero and you are grappling or even rolling around on the ground with your attacker.
My favorite edged weapon is a sword cane made by Cold Steel. While affecting a cane (thankfully I don't need one to get around, yet). Of course when I have the cane I also have, at a minimum, my J frame Smith. The cane is a defensive weapon that offers a graduated response. Once a gun is drawn the only option left is pulling the trigger.
The cane can be used as a standoff weapon, much easier to two hand before it is unsheathed than a naked blade. it can also be very effective a a club, with the sword in it it's pretty heavy. When the attacker grabs it, a likely reaction, then he is left with a lightweight aluminum tube and you have a sword which he has unsheathed for you.