Below find my somewhat edited response.
Knives are darned serious stuff, and constitute a lethal threat of force if displayed in an attempt to either deter or coerce action.Barring further data, in most states about the time that protester waved a knife at the gentlemen (particularly giving that, given the racial epithet, it could be labeled a hate crime) the gentlemen would have been completely within the law to not merely display a firearm, but draw and fire it *immediately* and without any warning at all with lethal intent under the self-defense provisions of such states.
Lesson: Don't be waving knives about threateningly. You may not get someone as forgiving or trusting as this gentleman. ( See the Oregon Revised Statutes: 161.200-267).
A knife wielded in a threatening fashion is a fairly clear imminent danger of death or severe bodily injury, justifying a response with deadly force.
And…an awful lot of us, perfectly lawfully, simply go armed about our daily business. We’ve figured out that “Bad Stuff”, when it turns up, is unlikely to pause politely when requested while we meander off to the nearest gun store and choose an appropriate device for personal defense and return to interact with said “Bad Stuff”.
Similarly, we’ve figured out that we are unlikely to get engraved invitations to interact with “Bad Stuff”…it’s going to almost certainly be on a “SURPRISE!” basis. And finally, we’re fairly sure that we won’t get a really cooperative response if we loudly declaim “I have summoned the Police! Wait here for them to arrive, and then we shall continue this!”
With that in mind, protesters might consider a bit before waving knives about or getting all confrontational.
A lot of folks, if it looks like they are about to be attacked by a group of even unarmed and spritely young thugs can make a really good argument that:
(a) they can’t effectively flee, and
(b) they were at risk for their lives – followed by a hail of gunfire from the proposed victim.
This is referred to as a fatal error in the victim selection process.
Play nice. Or play an unusually complex and inconsiderate form of russian roulette.