Matthew McConaughey is speaking out on the devastating massacre that happened in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas on May 24.
Days after 19 children and two teachers were killed in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, the actor delivered an impassioned and emotional speech during Tuesday’s White House press briefing, urging politicians to enact better laws to protect future children from gun violence.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre invited the 52-year-old to the stage during the briefing where he gave a 21-minute long speech urging Congress to take action.
He began by explaining that after learning of the tragedy, he and his wife Camila Alves took their three children to the Texas town to pay tribute to those whose lives were taken far too soon and to connect with the victim’s families. In those conversations, Matthew realized all the families were struggling with the same question:
“How can the loss of these lives matter? While we honor and acknowledge the victims, we need to recognize that this time, it seems that something is different. There is the sense that perhaps there is a viable path forward [for enacting gun safety legislation].”
Everyone he talked to — from families to hunters and all those in-between — wanted to see legislation put in place to protect their loved ones from future gun violence, he recalled them saying:
“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.”
McConaughey, as a gun owner himself, went on to ask Congress to take “reasonable” and “practical” steps to protect the American public. That includes mandating background checks for gun ownership, strengthening “red flag” laws, raising the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21, requiring a waiting period for those rifles, and investing in mental health care. He explained:
“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’re a step forward for a civil society and for the Second Amendment.”
He also reminded politicians:
“As divided as our country is, this gun responsibility issue is one that we agree on more than we don’t.”
During his speech, the Dallas Buyers Club lead heartbreakingly shared a few stories from some of the victims. To reiterate just how devastating these losses are, he reflected on many of the victim’s hopes and dreams for the future. Dreams that they no longer get to live out. He also reflected on the gruesome way they died — specifically sharing that one student was only identified because she wore the same pair of green Converse every day. The rest of her body was unidentifiable because of her gunshot wounds. Take a listen to this tear-jerking story (below).
Wow, this McConaughey speech pic.twitter.com/0CeFFdAhlw
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 7, 2022
Whoa. It is so gut-wrenching to think that these young children were murdered in such a senseless and violent way all while trying to attend school.
After providing these stories as proof that something needs to change and in hopes of helping the victim’s legacies live on, Matthew concluded the speech by speaking directly to those in charge, saying:
“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?”
“We can’t truly be leaders if we’re only living for re-election.”
Amen! Listen to his powerful speech in full (below).
Change has never been more necessary — both to help these families mourn and to make for a safer society. We sincerely hope authority figures are listening and do something asap! Reactions, Perezcious readers?
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