Critics of the AR-15 and similar rifles tend to claim such weapons serve no valid civilian purpose. They argue these are “weapons of war” and think the only purpose for such firearms is to kill people.

However, a case in North Carolina would suggest something different.

It started with a self-defense shooting where a 17-year-old assailant fired at another 17-year-old who returned fire and killed his attacker. That should have been the end of it.

It wasn’t.

The other two masked men have been arrested. Investigators met with the District Attorney on Thursday morning. They determined that the shooting was in self-defense.

The family of the teen who defended himself received death threats. And then a relative of the 17-year-old suspect who was killed approached the property.

A man at the house who is a relative of the teen who was the robbery target, drove up to the edge of the driveway and asked that man to leave. He didn’t.

That’s when the relative pulled out an AR-15 rifle and asked the man to go away.

When that gentleman reached behind him, as of to pull out something from behind his back, the relative with the AR-15 raised the barrel, pointed it at the man, and yelled at him to stop.

It turned out he was just trying to show that he was not armed.

The video shows the usefulness of the rifle in stopping a threat.

The presence of the AR-15 makes perfect sense, given the context. After all, if the relative of someone a family member of mine killed in self-defense showed up at their home, I’d suspect they were up to no good, as well.

Seriously, there’s no reason to show up at someone’s home under those circumstances without at least a phone call first. None.

We also see that the rifle was more than effective in ending the confrontation.

To be fair, the family of the deceased takes issue with the circumstances of the shooting, but what else is new? One family member argues the shooter should have limited his aim to leg shots. Apparently, she never thought about how someone who has been shot in the leg can still kill you.

Meanwhile, we see one aspect of how an AR-15 can be effective in self-defense. For all the media’s fearmongering over the weapon, it has done one thing; it’s made some people scared of the guns. I can’t help but wonder if that played a factor here.

For what it’s worth, I don’t envy the sheriff there in Catawba County. It sounds like the kind of situation that has the potential to blow up and get really ugly. If a family member is going to hang out at the end of the kid’s driveway–an act most likely meant to intimidate the kid and his family–it raises questions of what else they might do.

If that happens, though, we know at least one side has the right kind of rifle for the job, and at least one of them has the will to fire in self-defense.