<<Turning a cursing offense into a physical confrontation by exiting the vehicle to give them two cents' worth was escalating the problem. And the wife put her husband in a very bad situation where he almost had to defend her.>>
Betty, I'm sorry. I respect a lot of what you post here but I cannot agree with you in the least on this issue. The logical conclusion of your argument is that you should never verbally confront anybody about anything, because THEY might turn violent. In Colorado, as quoted above, simply being involved in an ordinary mild argument does not deprive you of the right to self defense if the argument escalates into a confrontation where deadly force becomes justified. I know that's not Florida law, but it was the best I could do... can't find a good searchable FLA law database. I'm sure there must be some similar provision... at least I hope there is. Castle docterine has nothing to do with it, and in Colorado wouldn't apply anyway... they weren't in a "dwelling".
Talking to someone about their behavior is not violent. It's not even necessarily an argument. From the evidence we have nothing the wife did offered violence or the threat of violence to anyone. The wife didn't do the escalating, the kids did.
I admit that there was an element of risk, and the possibility of escalation into violence... that possibility exists in any confrontation or disagreement anywhere with anyone. If someone is engaged in behavior that I find offensive, whether it is swearing, smoking in a no-smoking area, playing loud music or whatever else it may be I have every right to speak to the person in question and request that they cease their offensive behavior. There is no logical reason that a request that someone watch their language around my wife or kids should lead to the threat of violence.
The reason that thugs and various wanna-be gangbangers are so quick to offer violent threats is because they KNOW that 99% of the population will be cowed by them. They KNOW that because it's true, they see it and use it every day. I certainly don't advocate a return to a dueling culture, but there is something to be said for a society where a person must stand by their words with their life.
It's likely that those who have an opinion on this matter won't be swayed by further discussion here. I won't post further on this thread.