Raul Ruiz: Time to look at availability of ‘automatic weapons of war’

As the country still comes to grasps with the massive school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Rep.-elect Raul Ruiz today said it was time for the country to have a “serious conversation” about the accessibility of “automatic weapons of war.”

The Palm Desert Democrat’s comments echoed those of other federal leaders, who have increasingly called for bans on assault weapons and on high-capacity magazines.

“These weapons that are designed for war shouldn’t be in the hands or shouldn’t be in the streets,” Ruiz told The Desert Sun today.

“We respect people’s right to own guns in sports, for sporting reasons. But we have to really evaluate the cost of that to our nation’s homicide rates and the violence that we have in America.”

Ruiz first broached the politically-divisive topic of gun control while headlining a Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce luncheon, which was attended by about 170 people today.

He opened the half-hour talk by calling for a moment of silence for the 20 students and six adults killed Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman also killed his mother before turning the weapon on himself.

Ruiz told the crowd that he would be a ““strong advocate to help reduce the amount of violence.”

“Americans throughout felt the pain of this shooting,” Ruiz later said. “We are all mourning. And we’re all ready for change.”