manta49, you're right, if I knew there were life-threatening (and unavoidable) danger, I would go with the firearm.
That said, I have not yet had cause to use a firearm. I have had cause to employ some martial arts skills, on a couple occasions, and I would speculate that in general there are a lot more scenarios that justify the use of such than there are scenarios that justify the use of the firearm.
(Note: one occasion involved immobilizing an aggressor without actually harming him; another involved slipping a punch thrown by an idiot, and making him think really hard about whether he wanted to try again - he decided he did not. Such skills are useful, and lack of such skills might make it difficult for one to successfully draw a weapon if one is attacked.)
I don't want to veer the thread too far, though, so...
The point is, firearms are lethal, of course, and they are easier to learn to use effectively, if not skillfully, than are most other weapon types. BUT I still see the issue as being one of intent, rather than tools, and still believe that the way to deal with the problem is to deal with the bad actors, rather than to villify those who own tools.