Ever since the deadly mass shooting in Uvalde last month, actor Matthew McConaughey, who was born in the Texas town, has been unusually vocal on the issue. The day after the tragedy, McConaughey made comments on social media that hit home for many Americans. He hasn’t stopped there. Yesterday, he published an op/ed in the Austin American-Statesman where he again called for reasonable, common-sense measures to be taken on the issue. He didn’t stop there.
Today, at the White House daily press briefing, Matthew McConaughey took to the podium in a jam-packed briefing room with an emotional and fact-filled presentation for all Americans to witness. (scroll down to see excerpts and the full video at the end of the article)
In his presentation, the actor and seemingly turned activist told stories about the murdered children. He spoke of one who had a pair of green sneakers with a heart drawn by the victim on one of the shoes. Those shoes and that hand-drawn heart were the only things that could be used to identify her bullet-ridden body.
He went on to tell more heart-wrenching stories about the victims, their hopes, their dreams, and the inexcusable way they were deprived of their lives because of an AR-15 rifle that was easily gotten by an 18-year-old who was hell-bent to murder them.
More importantly, he spoke of the common ground that most Americans have on the issue. The fact that, at least on some reforms, Americans are not as divided as some in politics, certain businesses, and media would have them believe they are. He spoke of universal background checks, raising the age to purchase one of these “weapons of war” to 21, and red flag laws that would keep at least some of these guns out of the hands of people who are in no position to own one.
Indeed, in a nation that can’t seem to agree on much of anything, all of these measures are supported by most Americans and most gun owners.
He did not offer these policies as a “cure-all” or anything of the sort. McConaughey admitted that these measures would not stop all gun violence, but they would stop some of it, and save lives — without obstructing or infringing on America’s 2nd amendment rights.
McConaughey also spoke of his own upbringing. He talked about how he was a gun owner and was raised to use all responsible measures when owning and handling a gun. He never spoke of “seizing guns” or “mass confiscations” or anything the NRA likes to claim is inevitable if America decides that unfettered access to weapons might not be the great idea it was sold to be by them and gun manufacturers.
It remains to be seen if anything will be done on the issue of common-sense gun reform. Americans have seen tragedies like what happened in Uvalde last month happen with nothing done by Congress in the aftermath. So far, donations from the NRA and other gun-related interests and pro-gun individuals have trumped doing things that most Americans and even most gun owners support.
Check out an excerpt from Matthew McConaughey’s press conference speech below:
Check out his full presentation to a jam-packed press briefing room below: