Your question did hit home, thank you.
The answer is really in two parts. Firstly I can and have seen it as a weapon, in training and outside of training complete with bruises and accidental damage caused. So contrary to what some may think I have no problem with using it as such, watching others use it as such whether in another martial art or the various Aikido styles.
You could say I used it recently as a weapon when doing some security in a pub. Actually it was a pool cue about to be used like a club to batter someone being held by two idiots. I grabbed the end and pulled it down to waist level spinning the guy round to face me. I was in a good place at the time and so came out with a bit of a wise crack saying to the guy not to use it until he knows how. He gave a few expletives and pulled the other end of the cue to try and take it from me. It was too perfect. I moved foreward with his own force, extended through the cue and did a quick hard nikkyo with it's end and he hit the floor hard.
His friends were too busy laughing at him for a moment which allowed me to then use that opening to diffuse the situation.
To me I thrust through like a spear and then cut like a sword, thats just how see it.
So that doesn't mean now I see it just as a weapon as I see it as a tool of Aiki.
In fact I see it as a friend, a dancing partner.
There are advantages to such a girl friend, never answers back, she will watch your choice of TV programmes, doesn't drink, so cheap to take out, at the end of the evening stick her where she belongs in the broom cupboard....could catch on ........