The argument of stopping power, in relation to firearms, is one that must be set aside. Stopping power begins and ends with 12 gauge shotguns. Everything else is a behavior modifier. Knives, on the other hand, are actually better killers than firearms. Unfortunately knives require you to get in very close to the subject, and you're just asking for trouble in doing so. With a handgun you can can push the subject back by inflicting damage that has not only a physical effect but also an emotional effect brought on by severe pain stimulus. There is now overwhelming proof, in the way of video feeds (cell phones, ATM Cams, Dash Cams, Body Cams) that show that even multiple shots will seldom incapacitate a subject who has focused intent. With this in mind the firearm is ideal in buying you distance, and time, to find the high central nervous system hits needed to ground an attacker and allow you to modify their behavior, and exit the area. Transition to Merrell!