"Ultimately, I place my life and my family's lives above ANY animals. I'm not going to take the chance on trying to kick it, find a rock, etc. Most dogs are much quicker than I am. I honestly don't care if the dog owner loses the ability to think rationally."
Dog people look at their dogs as family members. You write that you are OK skipping straight to lethal methods even when you don't know the intentions of a dog to do you harm or not.
When you choose to pull out a knife, you are creating a situation that is about a million times worse. See, with a dog, you don't know if it is going to attack or not, but when you pull a knife, you are saying thet you INTEND to KILL, not just do harm.
Dogs bark for a lot of reasons: to say hi, to alert others, to warn you to stay, to threaten, to communicate. People only pull knives with the intent to kill.
Barking is a maybe, pulling a knife is a clear statement of "I intend to kill (what is to a dog person)a member of your family". By your own rationale, the dog owner would be perfectly justified in putting a couple rounds in you to protect himself and his family. You, not the dog owner, are taking the situation from "this dog MAY want to cause harm" to "this person INTENDS to not just cause harm, but KILL", all when you could easily control the situation without escalating it via many non lethal options.
It's senseless and it's stupid, and can only lead bad places.
Like I said, it's not about the amount of value you place on a dogs life vs a humans, it's about the amount of value you place on life, period. There is no excuse for chosing lethal methods when there are non lethal options.