A 6'4" Alaskan fisherman at a boat harbor once threatened to kill me. All I was doing was retrieving Pepsi from a vending machine, when around the corner came a mean drunk...he threatened me
No physical attack was made, yet you felt threatened. Why? Psychologically, the fisherman attacked with atemi. If this was not so, why did you make any defense at all?
Consider further, hostile work environments. In most cases, no physical contact is made. Nevertheless, people bring forth charges and win. Why? They were afraid based on the social atmosphere .... psychological harm was done.
The psychological effect of violence on a community is yet another example. There is a large body of evidence of people who witnessed violence (it did not occur to them, they were not physically harmed) yet they suffer as though it happened to them. (Children whose parents were physically abused, but the children were not harmed).
These are examples of non-physical atemi (your definition) causing psychological harm.
2. Everyone has openings.
Why was a firearmed designed? To end life. Period. You can use it as a paperweight if you want, but it's purpose was to punch a hunk of lead through armor with enough force to kill whoever was in it.
I submit that such a tool is inherently violent. The fact that it could be used for the greater good isn't relevent, in my opinion. Now, apply the same reasoning to atemi (and note that you are using atemi differently than Ward's definition....) What conclusion do you draw? (retorical question)