Matthew McConaughey pushes for action on gun legislation at the White House

Actor and Uvalde, Texas, native Matthew McConaughey, spoke at the White House press briefing on Tuesday and pushed for gun legislation, including minimum age for purchases of AR-15s and background checks. He called them “a step forward for a civil society and ... the Second Amendment.”

Video Transcript

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: Look, we heard from-- we heard from so many people, all right. Families of the deceased, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, Texas Rangers, hunters, border patrol, and responsible gun owners who won't give up their Second Amendment right to bear arms, and you know what they all said? We want secure and safe schools and we want gun laws that won't make it so easy for the bad guys to get these damn guns. So, we know what's on the table.

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, responsible gun ownership. We need background checks. We need to raise the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 rifle to 21. We need a waiting period for those rifles. We need red flag laws and consequences for those who abuse them.

These are reasonable, practical, tactical regulations to our nation, states, communities, schools, and homes. Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals. These regulations are not a step back. They are a step forward for a civil society and, and the Second Amendment.

Look, is this a cure all? Hell no. But people are hurting, families are, parents are. And look, as-- as divided as our country is, this gun responsibility issue is one that we agree on more than we don't. It really is.

Look, this should be a nonpartisan issue. This should not be a partisan issue. There is not a Democratic or Republican value in one single act of these shooters. It's not.

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 on our hands?

Because we got a chance right now to reach for and to grasp a higher ground, above our political affiliations. A chance to make a choice that does more than protect your party, a chance to make a choice that protects our country now and for the next generation. We've got to take a sober, humble, and honest look in the mirror and rebrand ourselves based on what we truly value, what we truly value.

We've got to get some real courage and honor our immortal obligations instead of our party affiliations. Enough with the counterpunching. Enough with the invalidation of the other side.

Let's come to the common table that represents the American people. Find a middle ground, the place where most of us Americans live anyway, especially on this issue. Because I promise you, America, you and me, we are not as divided as we are being told we are. No.