What I find strange is that so many people accept completely that a large, dangerous looking person should find it necessary and acceptable to leave his car in this situation, go and yell at the driver whom he perceived to be a line cutter, and then, maintain an aggressive, taunting, challenging attitude, even after the first driver de-escalated the situation and promised to remedy it. He used aggressive and intimidating behavior in a totally inappropriate situation.
People like me, and apparently the OP, recognize that this is really, really, seriously screwed up behavior. and then, you open up the box of what ifs.
Do all of you skeptics really, seriously believe that there was no possibility that this person was packing, or so out of his mind that he COULDN'T POSSIBLY HAVE THOUGHT OF FURTHER ESCALATION, EVEN IN THE FACE OF CONCILIATORY ACTIONS ON THE LINE CUTTER'S PART?
This is the sort of behavior used in prisons during interactions with other killers, pimps, and rapists. Not between normal people who are part of a community of at least nominally civilized and polite people.
No matter how you guys try to minimize and sugar coat the behavior by the "big teddy bear" who had engaged in prosecutable behavior, the OP behaved correctly.
The situation scared him. He had a concealed weapon. He took necessary steps to prepare for the attack he thought may be coming, after reviewing the scenario presented to him. Then, he de-escalated the situation on his own.
All of you doubters who saw nothing in this situation but a guy who's had a rough day doing his civic duty by berating a line cutter need to just once put yourself in the cab of the van, in his mind, and re-assess the situation. Where you are sitting now, behind the keys, you have this god-like hindsight of what happened with third party knowledge of how it all turned out to be a perfectly harmless encounter.
That is not how to assess a defense situation. You'd get an F at the academy. You're responses are to be based on the information available to the target only. and he acted appropriately to the situation.
You guys would probably call my wife an idiot because she locks her doors anytime a pedestrian gets within 10 feet of the car. Every day, people encounter criminals in real life. Child molesters, killers, burglars, dope dealers, gang members, and only the grace of god prevents a dangerous situation from developing. That's why we carry firearms.