Let's take a little trip to Irony, Arizona.

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Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown

Let’s take a little trip to Irony, Arizona.

It’s not a town, but a concept, though the state’s political leaders don’t seem at all familiar with it. Claiming to represent the will of the people, they’ve enacted the most free-wheeling gun toting laws in America – no state has fewer restrictions. Which brings us to irony: a recent poll reveals that far from being a wild bunch of devil-may-care gunslinging ideologues, a majority of Arizonans actually want tougher gun laws. Overall, 55 percent of the residents favor more stringent controls.

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Of course, this is the state where Jared Lee Loughner gunned down Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and a parking lot full of people in January. Using a 30-bullet, semi-automatic pistol, the shooter pulled off his massacre in just a few seconds.

Yet, the intractable gun lobby’s absolutist political apologists see no problem with such mass-slaughtering machines being loose on the land. The problem, explains Oklahoma Sen. Tom Colburn (ironically a medical doctor) is that Loughner is “a mentally deranged person [who] should not have had access to a gun.”

Wow, that’s progress! Let’s have a sanity test before you can buy a murderous 30-bullet weapon at an unregulated gun show. In fact, New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg has introduced a bill in Congress to require just that. But, wait – where did Sen. Coburn go? Neither he nor any of his Republican colleagues have signed on as cosponsors of this tiny step toward gun sanity, a step that could’ve saved many of the dead and wounded in that Arizona parking lot.

Now, back to Irony. The poll found that 92 percent of Arizona’s voters want to keep the mentally ill from buying guns – with 93 percent of Republicans most strongly in favor of this. Good luck to them in getting their politicians to support it.

“Utah’s gun appreciation day,” Austin American Statesman,” January 29, 2011.

“Most Arizona Residents Actually Want Stricter Gun Control Laws — Rate Higher Than the National Average,”, February 4, 2011.

“Sens. Lautenberg, Menendez introduce federal gun-control bills,”, January 25, 2011.

I’m making moves!

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