Seems very complex and simple at the same time.
Simple: Jim saw an injustice taking place. (some asshole taking his anger out on the kid) He said/yelled "Hey what the hell is wrong with you?" (i would have yelled it) The asshole then directs his anger at Jim, someone that has the ability to forcefully defend himself. (justification not withstanding) Jim pulls his piece as an indication of his willingness defend himself. (i would have done the same thing with a few choice words... something like "You blankety blank should stop taking your anger out on your kid because the next person to see you do it might not be as friendly as me" you know something John Wayne would say) The situation deescalates and no one is hurt except for the kid. (i say "hurt" because it remains to be seen if he was "harmed")
Complex: Striking a child in the head is NOT discipline but abuse. I fell on my head enough when i was young to know that it hurts A LOT and if that type of pain had been caused by someone in anger, i wouldn't be the same person i am today. In human history, striking the cranium has never been an acceptable from of corporal punishment.
Regardless of Jim's justification in pulling his weapon, once it was pulled, if the asshole had rushed him or tried to take the weapon from him, or pretty much tried anything other than getting back in his vehicle to leave, Jim would have been obliged to kneecap him at the VERY least. If you have a gun pointed at you terms like 'probable cause' and 'jury' have no business being in your thought process. If you escalate the situation, you are forcing the other person to shoot you and in all probability kill you. And you'd deserve it, regardless of your emotions or what's justified. It's in the same vein as 'not complying with the orders of a police officer'. If the asshole had stuck around and waited for the police, he MAY have been justified in having Jim charged with 'assault with a deadly weapon' and if Jim had shot him, he MAY have been justified in killing the asshole. In both cases guilt would been determined by a jury of his "peers". If the justice system worked in the way it is supposed to Jim would be acquitted in both cases regardless of who had the moral high ground. (I believe that Jim had it.)
That being said, I'm pretty certain that in reality Jim would have been found guilty of something because, as stated by others, I have NO confidence what-so-ever in a modern group of "peers". And Jim, even if you had shot and killed him and been acquitted you would have had to deal with the the fact that you took a kid's father from him, justified or not. That's a weight i don't think i could bear.
It could have just as easily gone bad for Jim if he didn't have his piece. The guy might have grabbed Jim and beat him to death while everyone in the store just watched, and we'd be mourning the loss of a very helpful member of the TW community. I'm glad the situation deescalated without incident, because I would have done pretty much the same thing, Jim.
Good discussion and pretty respectful. Keep it up guys