Sunday Sermon: Distance is Your Friend

The further the target the more difficult the target.

Remember this applies to you. Unless your specific mission is destruction of an enemy or aggressor force your fighting is likely a defensive action.

The goal of your fight is to get to safety, permanent decimation of the aggressor’s ability to fight could be a consequence of your actions in getting to safety but it is not, in itself, an end goal or objective so much as it is a method or contributor to get to the end goal. This is eminently true in civilian defense and law enforcement applications.

As a civilian defender the first opportunity to safely ‘beat feet’ should be taken, even if that is just a small gain in distance and cover. The position of advantage is the most protected and most distant. Once you are out of sight you are likely out of mind as the aggressor seeks targets of greater opportunity or breaks off the brief and sudden attack because the gain or goal is no longer attainable. In the less likely event of pursuit you can take advantage of their advance to engage as they come into your fire (assuming you are armed, if not keep moving).

In law enforcement circles, rapidly moving civilians away from the epicenter of the violent incident keeps them safer and establishing, where possible, safe distances for stand off where marksman can engage but are as protected as possible from the aggressor(s) is par for the course.


For your personal tactical priorities this encompasses the first. Run.

In the Run, Hide, Fight list of priority distance is your gain. Moving away, and when possible laterally with cover, gives you time, space, and opportunities to get to further toward safety. When necessary and legally appropriate, fighting to garner an additional opportunity to gain distance may be necessary.

Finally remember that lateral movement (movement perpendicular, left and right from aggressor perspective) to the target makes you much more difficult to hit. Short exposure times and quick movements are best. The longer you are exposed the more time they have to aim at you.

Keith Finch
Keith is the Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. A Certified Instructor since 2009, he has taught concealed weapons courses in the West Michigan area in the years since and continues to pursue training and teaching opportunities as they arise.