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Preview – Going The Distance

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Photography by Justin Melnick

A Case for Long-Range Pistol Skills

It’s a lazy Saturday morning, and you’re proud of yourself for getting out of bed early and beating the crowds to the local mall. After grabbing the perfect birthday gift for your wife, you exit the mall and briefly pause to scan the quickly crowding parking lot, trying to remember exactly where you parked. Locating the spot, your thoughts drift back to that perfect gift as you start walking across the parking lot. She’s going to love this, you think to yourself.

Suddenly, a surprising pop of a firecracker startles you back into reality. Then, four more go off in quick succession. You think, it’s a little early for that crap, when you look up in time to see a woman about 90 yards away, frantically running down the row of parked cars toward you. Even from this distance you can tell she is running away from something…something bad.


You hear two more cracks in quick succession. The running woman falls to the ground. Instantly the situation becomes crystal clear. You see a man behind her. He is calmly walking toward the woman on the ground. He has a pistol in each hand and what appears to be a rifle or a shotgun slung over his shoulder. He walks with purpose, but with no urgency. The woman on the ground attempts to crawl toward a parked car in a feeble attempt to hide as the man walks by her. He calmly extends his pistol and fires one more round into the woman without slowing or pausing to see his work. The woman instantly goes still. You watch the events unfolding like some surreal movie, not wanting to believe what is happening. Unsure what to do, you stand there frozen for what seems like minutes, and then it happens. Your training kicks in and a voice in your head screams, move!

You made the decision to obtain your carry permit and took it upon yourself to seek out good, professional training in its use. You learned how to deal with aggression and violence. You don’t fear aggression, you fight it! So you quickly move to cover. The engine block of the closest parked car offers excellent cover and concealment. You draw your legally concealed pistol and take a kneeling position over the hood of the car, resting your arms and steadying your aim at the threat. He’s 80 yards away, still walking with purpose. Walking directly toward the mall entrance you just exited — the one directly behind your position. In the distance, you notice two more bodies on the ground further out in the parking lot. Three victims down, and you’re determined not to be number four. You focus the front sight on the threat. The front sight looks as big as a skyscraper. It almost completely blocks out the threat. Nerves begin to set in. Too far, you think. Too far away. I can’t make that shot. What to do? Should you move closer and risk exposing yourself? Should you wait for him to get closer and ambush him? Should you run? Should you hide? What to do….


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