The situation called for an immediate, strong dose of pepper spray to the guy's wanker.
Displaying the firearm or using OC on the offender is an appropriate level of force in this situation, IMO. Shooting him would have been inappropriate, unless the offender escalated to a physical attack. It is not reasonable to expect her to retreat, since the speed of her retreat would have been hampered by her young child.
You can find the relevant WA state statute at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.41.270
Originally Posted by RCW 9.41.270
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.
(3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect the following:
(c) Any person acting for the purpose of protecting himself or herself against the use of presently threatened unlawful force by another, or for the purpose of protecting another against the use of such unlawful force by a third person;
Displaying the weapon was an appropriate level of force because she was protecting herself against the present threat of unlawful force. He told her to watch him yank off. Why? Because he believed he could force her to comply, and apparently so did she, which is why she drew the gun. She may have been able to retreat; however, the speed of her retreat would certainly have been hampered by the presence of her young child.
Note that she did not shoot him. She displayed the weapon to make him stop, and she stopped using any level of force against him as soon as it was obvious that he was no longer interested in using force against her.
All's well that ends well -- although on a gut level, I wish she had put his fire out with a little OC instead.