The AR-15 is the most demonized firearm in the world these days (or at least in the United States). While gun folks tend to love the blasted things–yours truly included–anti-gunners see them as basically magazine-fed bazookas. Thanks to the media, which has misrepresented the weapons to the public at large, most people seem to think they’re the most deadly firearms out there.

As a result, most folks look at the rifles with something like disgust following the tragedy in Parkland, FL. Yet it’s important to remember that the rifles aren’t inherently good or evil. They’re just tools that can be used for evil, like in Parkland.

They can also be used for good, like in this case from Illinois:

OSWEGO TOWNSHIP, IL — A witness used an AR-15 rifle to stop a knife attack Monday in the 100 block of Harbor Drive, the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office said. According to police, deputies responded to a report of one person with a knife and another with a gun at the Oswego Township apartment complex. An investigation revealed the incident began as a “neighbor dispute,” with the suspect inflicting multiple stab wounds on the victim, a 28-year-old man.

On Tuesday evening, the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office said two people — a 19-year-old Naperville woman and a 22-year-old Oswego man — have been charged with aggravated battery and mob action, both felonies, in connection with the incident. Detective Bryan Harl said Jacob Currey, who lives in the Harbor Drive apartment building, is accused of stabbing the victim, who was taken to Rush-Copley Hospital in Aurora. Harl said teenager Alyssa Wright of the 8400 block of Una Avenue in Naperville, “was complicit to the point that it resulted in charges” in the attack.

Harl declined to release further details about what happened in the apartment complex or what caused the dispute that led to the stabbing. “I can’t give specifics,” Harl said, declining to say what role police believe Wright played in the stabbing.

The 28-year-old victim had been released from the hospital by Tuesday evening, Harl said.

Police said a witness to the stabbing retrieved an AR-15 rifle from his apartment and stopped the knife attack “with only a threat of force.” The witness had both a valid firearm owner’s ID card and a concealed carry permit, according to the sheriff’s office.

What’s this? A brutal attack stopped by a law-abiding citizen with an AR-15?

The AR-15 is a big, scary looking rifle. It’s why the media has latched onto it as being the tool of the boogeyman. However, that scary look is also why it serves as an effective self-defense tool. It can often end a confrontation without a single shot being fired.

Now, that’s not something you should ever want to bank on, of course. The AR-15 is capable of more than just being scary looking, which makes it ideal for personal defense.

While people are demonizing the rifle, pretending there is no real use for it, we see a prime example right here of its true purpose. Yes, a handful of guns are misused every year, including AR-15s, but they also are all used to protect innocent lives each and every day.