McConaughey, who was a visible and vocal advocate for the community in the aftermath of the shooting, along with his wife, Camila, has launched the Greenlights Grant Initiative to help schools across the country access funding to create safer learning environments.
“My wife was out of the country,” McConaughey recalled of the Uvalde tragedy in an interview with ABC News. “She heard about the news, immediately writes me and says, ‘We got to go down there.’ She cut her trip short, flew in. We packed up and headed out.”
The couple spent time with families in Uvalde and worked to raise awareness of the impact of gun violence.
Not long after, Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) in 2022, which approved funding for crisis intervention programs aimed at mental health services and school security.
McConaughey says he was told that three months after the Uvalde shooting, 12 schools in the area had applied for government funding but none had been given any.
“What are we doing?” McConaughey said. “That’s a zero percent success rate. One, way too few applications. Number two, the 12 applications, we went zero for twelve?”
“The government admits that it shouldn’t be this complicated. You got 14,000 something schools,” he continued. “This grant initiative is going to connect those districts to those billions of dollars that’s there, available, and wants to be used to make our kids safe.”
McConaughey also has other ideas. “I’d change the word from [gun] ‘control’ to ‘responsibility,’” he said.
“No one wants to be controlled,” he said. “But responsibility is still something that we can all go, ‘Yeah, I’ll take responsibility.’ … The Second Amendment defenders could talk responsibility. They could look you in the eye and talk responsibility with someone from the other side of the aisle.”
For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com