Uvalde, Texas native Matthew McConaughey visited the White House on Tuesday, and emotionally urged leaders to make the loss of 19 children and two teachers in last month’s mass school shooting “matter” by enacting stricter gun laws.
McConaughey said during the White House briefing: “So I am here today in the hopes of applying what energy, reason and passion that I have and to try and turn this moment into a reality because this moment is different. We start by making the loss of these lives matter. We start by making laws that save lives and don’t infringe on our Second Amendment rights. We start right now by voting to pass policies that can keep us from having so many Columbine, Sandy Hooks, Parklands, Las Vegas and Uvaldes.”
McConaughey called for gun responsibility, not gun control, saying: “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.”
McConaughey visited his hometown after the shooting, and as he spoke he showed photos of the children killed and described how their families pleaded with him to make sure their loss mattered. The actor said: “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 American values.”
McConaughey challenged leaders in Washington, D.C. to finally enact gun laws that save lives: “Can both sides see beyond the political problem at hand and admit that we have a life preservation problem on our hands This should not be a partisan issue. As divided as our country is, this gun responsibility issue is one that we agree on more than we don’t Find the middle ground, a 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.”
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