Thankfully, in most parts of the world, people don't carry swords anymore. Like the gun the sword is a weapon purely created to kill. As such it feeds directly in to the universal human phobia for violence. The difference is that the sword is heavily romanticized because it isn't in common use anymore.
None the less, the sword is an awesome training tool. It immediately brings the point across that violence is real, and is dangerous. Where people foolishly think that punches and kicks aren't really dangerous, the sword immediately does away with such foolhardy sentiment. You have to move and you have to do it right or else you may very well loose your bits.