“Really interesting to hear him say there, someone from Hollywood calling to restore our family values in the wake of that mass shooting at that elementary school in Texas,” she said.
McConaughey was born and raised in Texas and lives in Austin with his wife. He recently mulled a run for governor of the state. Smith did note that the actor was born in Uvalde, where 19 schoolchildren and two teachers were killed last month by a gunman armed with a semiautomatic assault rifle, but later made the comment about his ability to hold “family values” because he worked in Hollywood.
“He wants to raise the age for buying an assault rifle to 21 years old unless you’re in the military. He says all gun purchases should require a background check and red flag laws should be law of the land,” Smith said.
Fox News host Sandra Smith dismisses McConaughey's heart-wrenching call for gun control: "Someone from Hollywood calling to restore our family values." pic.twitter.com/msm8yc09dt
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 7, 2022
After a clip of the moment circulated and garnered backlash, Smith characterized her comments about McConaughey as praise. However, as many viewers commented, her tone had seemed to indicate otherwise.
— Sandra Smith (@SandraSmithFox) June 7, 2022
McConaughey spoke for more than 20 minutes at the White House, sharing the heartbreaking conversations he has had with families of victims whom he and his wife had met with after the May 24 massacre.
“We need to invest in mental health care, we need safer schools, we need to restrain sensationalized media coverage, we need to restore our family values, we need to restore our American values and we need responsible gun ownership,” the actor said from the podium.
He stressed the importance of gun control laws, including background checks, red flag laws that would allow law enforcement to confiscate guns from those deemed a danger to themselves or others, raising the minimum age of purchase and having a waiting period for firearms, such as AR-15 rifles.
“As divided as our country is, this gun responsibility issue is one that we agree on more than we don’t. ... This should not be a partisan issue. There is not a Democratic or Republican value in one single act of the shooters,” he said.
Though polling indicates a large majority of Americans support a universal background check law for all firearm sales, Senate Republicans aren’t willing to vote on the legislation currently before them that would put those checks in place.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.