Niagara Gazette

August 16, 2013

HAMILTON: Council's two-tens beat Hamister's three-twos

By Ken Hamilton
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — In poker, three of a kind beats any pair.

However, life is not always poker and we should know as much as we can about both the cards in any developer’s hand and those of our own.

That is why the council is right to begin to look closely at the Hamister deal, as well as all other future deals.

When I was learning to time — shoot a .45-caliber handgun, I got 30 seconds to fire five rounds for score. Thirty seconds seemed a short time, so I fired quickly.

The Navy chief pointed out that I was hitting only the one and two rings on the target, or missing it altogether. He pointed out that it was because I was rushing my shots. To me, slowing down made no sense, given the time restraints that I had.

But after many poorly expended rounds, chief finally helped me to understand the philosophy of timed shooting. He reminded me that I had 30 seconds to fire five rounds, and helped me to understand that it came to a long, six seconds per shot.

When I fast-fired my five-round set, the best that I got was seven of 50 points. The chief then suggested something similar to what Buffalo Bills’ coach Marv Levy would later indicate about any game that followed the one for which he was immediately preparing.

Chief told me to forget about any future bullet, or even the amount of time that I had left; because if I took my time to focus on the shot that I was then taking, firing and hitting the bulls-eye, then my one successful round would be better than any five shots that I had previously taken and missed.

Taking his advice, and absorbing confidence from a female sailor who was expertly using the range, I was soon firing increasingly improving numbers, even when I had rounds not fired in time. Within a few more sessions, I was consistently hitting tight groups of tens and bulls-eyes. Soon thereafter, I earned my medal as a Navy Expert Pistol Shot. Continually remembering the chief’s advice, some years later, I also earned an Expert Rifle Shot Medal as well.

When it comes to our governments, it is far, far better that we take on the philosophy of that Navy chief, and of Marv Levy — let’s take our time, focus on each opportunity as a single shot, and then get it right the first time.

Our Congress rushed ObamaCare, and it will take us years to fix. Our state legislature rushed the NY-SAFE Act, to only have to later fix the part that would give the police the right to carry magazines comparable to the criminals’, and it still needs more work.

When we look at our tourist area, at what we have and what we do not have there, it is all the result of rushing and missing our shots.

It is my hope that our city council majority takes this time to aim and hit the bulls-eye with the bullet of a reconciled Hamister deal, and then apply it to similar decisions.

Why? Because in straight shooting, a pair of tens will beat three-twos; but the five bulls-eyes that we so sorely need to fix our city will beat everything, and they will improve the profitability of Hamister’s holdings, too.

And that philosophy beats all.

Contact Ken Hamilton at