If you've been around Asatru for any time at all, you've run across people who own swords. There's nothing wrong with that - swords are a reminder of Asatru's early history, when lots of people carried blades. They're a cultural thing, and under some circumstances they can be used as ritual items. The mystique of the sword is a powerful thing, as anyone who has hefted a well-made replica of a Norse blade can attest.
Swords are dangerous, though, and not just because you could hurt someone with them. For some people, they are a way of escaping from the present. Asatru, then, becomes all about carrying a sword - and not about honoring the Holy Powers and our ancestors here and now, in the twenty-first century. Those who retreat into the past cannot help us solve our problems today.
I've seen people stand up at sumbel and pledge their sword in defense of the Gods and the Folk. There are problems with that: First, Gods and Folk need our hard work, our dedication, our success, and our wits, not our swords. Second, in the hypothetical instance that we might actually need to defend our faith (or our family, or ourselves) against physical aggression, a sword is not the weapon of choice. Third, anyone who would make such a pledge at sumbel has probably had too much mead!
Does this mean we are to forget about the duty of self-defense? Are we to become pacifists? Delete the relevant verses in the Havamal? Forget about owning weapons? No! Historically, only slaves are forbidden to own weapons. But we have to get real about the subject. You have no business buying a sword unless you already own a firearm, or several. If you have to defend your family (certainly a prime responsibility) it won't be with a Viking sword. And once you get those firearms, take some courses in how to use them safely. In Germanic society, free folk could carry weapons. Indeed, bestowing a weapon was often part of the initiation into manhood. Today, we have a different sort of initiation - get a permit to carry!
And finally, remember that neither a sword or a gun can make you a better person. You still have to do the hard work of spiritual growth and maturation on your own!
Asatru Folk Assembly