AR15 vs. Knife: Defensive Gun Use of the Day

Dave Thompson (courtesy

Arizona -( On 26 February, 2018, Dave Thompson (above), a firearms instructor, used an AR-15 type rifle to stop a knife attack he witnessed in the apartment complex where he lives. From . . .

Police said a witness to the stabbing incident retrieved an AR-15 rifle from their home and stopped the attacker “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.

The witness, who spoke with WGN-TV, said he ran to grab his AR-15 after hearing the commotion and spotting a “pool of blood” in his apartment building hallway. “Blood was everywhere,” said neighbor Dave Thomas, adding that he chose the AR-15 over a handgun, saying, “Bigger gun, I think a little more of an intimidation factor. Definitely played a part in him actually stopping.”

The AR-15 is one of, if not the most popular type rifle in the United States. Its many advantages have made it the rifle of choice for millions of Americans. Dave Thompson already mentioned the rifle, because of its easily recognized profile, has a high intimidation factor. Most defensive uses of guns do not require a shot to be fired. That is exactly what happened in Dave Thompson’s incident.

AR-15 rifles are easy to control, have low recoil, sufficient stopping power, and magazine capacity to handle multiple assailants, with a reserve for misses, “warning shots”, and the potential of drugged or drunk assailants. Thompson recognized these advantages. From

Thomas says he is also a firearms instructor.

“The AR-15 is my weapon of choice for home protection,” Thomas said. “It’s light, it’s maneuverable. If you train and know how to use it properly, it’s not dangerous. And this is just a perfect example of good guy with an AR-15 stopped a bad guy with a knife. And there were no lives taken, so all in all it was a good day.”

The same advantages that make the AR-15 a good choice for home defense make it a good choice for police officers. The AR-15 platform is one of the most commonly used by numerous police departments and sheriff offices around the country. Conversely, citizens have always looked to police for examples of what are reliable and effective firearms for defense of self and others.

There are numerous choices of caliber and projectiles for AR-15 type rifles. The most common caliber used by citizens and police alike is the .223 or 5.56 X 45 cartridge. While there are small differences between the two designations, most rifles will handle both cartridges interchangeably.

The easy customization of the rifle, the availability of numerous accessories such as telescopic sights, lasers, bi-pods, stock configurations, muzzle brakes and suppressors all add to the appeal of the rifle. The ability to change the rifle to different calibers, with a change of upper receiver, is another reason for the popularity of the AR-15.

Semi-automatic rifles have been common and legal in the United States for over a hundred years, but the AR-15 has come to be the American rifle for all.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch


  1. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

    Walmart just capitulated.

    1. avatar Frank in VA says:

      I just saw a Mini-14 in the gun rack at the local Walmart last week. I wonder if they will be pulling those from the shelves.

  2. avatar m says:

    Geez, the Colt 1911 was the military sidearm of choice for many, many decades. Obviously a true weapon of war. When are the libs gonna come after them, along with the Beretta and now the Sig?

  3. avatar Scoutino says:

    Firearm owner’s ID card in Arizona? What did I miss?

    1. avatar Marty says:

      Must be a misprint.

    2. avatar AZD says:

      The post is a bit confusing. This actually happened in Illinois per the links.

      1. avatar Michael Clark says:

        Web page highjack? Been noticing a trend in the TTAG posts lately. Enjoying the potential use of foxacid on our country’s own people 🙁
        Poacher shot same picture used in three other BS article’s on this site.

    3. avatar Big Bill says: is in Arizona, thus the by-line.

  4. avatar Craig Moore says:

    OMG am I in trouble. I don’t have my Arizona Firearm Owners ID card. Never go one. In 32 years. Boy, am I in trouble.

  5. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I sure hope that the additional time which it took the Good Samaritan to go retrieve a rifle did not cause the stabbing victim any additional injuries.

    If an attacker is actively stabbing someone, I am going to lean towards stopping them right then and there with my everyday-carry handgun — versus going to retrieve a rifle.

  6. avatar AZD says:

    W T F is a “valid firearm owner’s ID card”?

    Oh, Illinois. Never mind.

  7. avatar former water walker says:

    It was in OSWEGO,Illinois…near St.Charles NW of Chicago…where they want to ban “ASSault” weapons. A fairly positive story all things considered. Anyone catch the mother/daughter duo who shot the black dude in a liquor store? Happy ending there too…

  8. avatar jimmy james says:

    Never bring a knife to a gun fight or something like that…

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