I wouldn't give a mob of vandals much credit for any sort of consistent motivation. They were awful children inflicting violence because they find it fun
. There are many factors at work, and if we could get to the bottom of it, we'd likely find that racial differences played less of a role than free-floating aggression and poor parental guidance.
...I know I can't relate to whatever it is that incited and enraged those kids. But our conversation on the way home was that we wished we could have taken the kid who hit me home with us and shown him care, concern and support.
Here we are, living in the same city . . . . but a world apart.
I actually think that's a fairly healthy reaction. Maybe a bit thick on the sentimentality, but it's a better reaction than hatred or stereotyping.
Back to the original point of the thread: I would fire if I had no other option, but until that point, I would not draw or display my sidearm. If I'm up against a group that's already taken on an animalistic mob mentality, the display of a firearm might incite them to greater violence. I doubt it would dissuade them. Mobs are funny that way.
A few months back, there was a flash-mob attack on a MARTA train in Atlanta, and we had a similar discussion. In that case (a closed subway car), I posited that there was really no safe and effective way to utilize a firearm without risking the lives of bystanders. This is a bit different.
At an outdoor venue, I have the option to retreat. In this case, the use of a firearm might help expediate that process.