This past week I came across two news items that provided a glimmer of hope on the gun sickness tormenting our country.  

The first was a Sept. 2 article in The News-Gazette about Bob Mokos, a Vietnam veteran, retired airline pilot and passionate gun owner, whose sister was fatally shot during a mugging in Chicago. Mokos grew so disillusioned with the National Rifle Association that he joined forces with a rival organization — the gun control group founded by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  

“The more gun owners I contacted, the more I found out that everybody is thinking the same thing: the NRA does not speak for us,” said Mokos.

The core NRA lie is that you are either for the Second Amendment or you are for taking away people’s guns. This fallacy has been used time and again by the NRA to oppose any and all gun control, including universal background checks and banning assault weapons.

The second news item was Walmart’s decision to stop selling certain guns and ammunition, and asking customers to not openly carry guns into its stores.  This is clearly in reaction to the overwhelming outcry from consumers across the country after the slaughter at countless locations, including the El Paso Walmart.

In typical fashion, the NRA immediately condemned the Walmart decision as “shameful” and suggested that “lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers.” The NRA itself is facing probes which threaten its nonprofit status and a revolt by its own members who are questioning its finances, leadership and agenda.

I see no hope for sensible gun control from Washington, given our national embarrassment of a president and the current makeup of the U. S. Senate, the majority of whom march in lockstep with NRA orders.

That being the case, hats off to Mr. Mokos, Walmart, Kroger and Dick’s Sporting Goods. If the current Congress will do nothing, perhaps corporate America and enough fed-up voters can come together to bring meaningful change to stop the carnage.

TONY LEE

Paxton