Matthew McConaughey gave an impassioned and emotional speech at the White House on Tuesday calling for “responsible gun ownership” in the wake of the school shooting at Robb Elementary two weeks ago in Uvalde, Texas.
The actor and Uvalde native choked back some tears during his press briefing, talking about one of the student victims killed in the attack and referring to her parents holding a pair of green sneakers, saying that the only way her child could be identified was her shoes.
McConaughey also stressed the need to invest in mental healthcare, safer schools, restraining overzealous media coverage but also the need for responsible gun ownership.
“These are reasonable, practical, tactical regulations,” McConaughey said. “Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals and these regulations are not a step back. They’re a step forward for civil society.”
McConaughey reiterated comments that he made in a op-ed published Monday, and he advocated for background checks, raising the minimum age to purchase a weapon such as an AR-15, red flag laws and consequences for those that abuse such gun laws.
“Is this a cure all? Hell no. But people are hurting, families are hurting,” McConaughey said. “This should not be a partisan issue. There is not a Democratic or Republican value in a single one of these shooters. But people in power have failed to act. So we’re asking you and I’m asking you will you please ask yourselves? Can both sides rise above? Can both sides see beyond the political problem at hand and admit that we have a life preservation problem?”
The actor also met with President Biden and with lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. McConaughey has previously flirted with pursuing a career in politics and considered running for Texas governor, but pulled out despite some strong polling numbers.
You can check out McConaughey’s remarks here or at the top of this post.