Matthew McConaughey’s Emotional White House Plea for Gun Reform
On Tuesday, Matthew McConaughey took to the White House podium to voice his concerns about gun violence.
At a press briefing, McConaughey urged lawmakers to take action and keep the community safe after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children and two teachers last month.
Matthew, a native of Uvalde, began his emotional plea by mentioning that he and wife Camila Alves visited the families of those who lost loved ones in the shooting.
He said, “We shared stories, tears, and memories. The common thread, independent of the anger and the confusion, sadness. It was the same. How can these families continue to honor these deaths by keeping the dreams of these children and teachers alive? Again, how can the loss of these lives matter? While we honor and acknowledge the victims, we need to recognize that this time, seems that something is different.”
He emphasized, “We are in a window of opportunity right now that we have not been in before. A window where it seems like real change, real change can happen. I’m here today in the hopes of applying what energy, reason and passion that I have into trying to turn this moment into a reality. Because as I said, this moment is different.”
He noted that he came to Washington, D.C., to take meetings with elected officials to “remind and inspire them that the American people will continue to drive forward the mission of keeping our children safe — because it’s more than our right to do so. It’s our responsibility to do so.”
McConaughey revealed that he and his family drove to Uvalde immediately after hearing news of the shooting school at Robb Elementary.
He shared, “You can feel the shock in the town. You can feel the pain, the denial of disillusion, anger, blame, sadness, loss of life, dreams halted… We saw first responders, counselors, cooks, families trying to grieve without being on the front page news. We met with the local funeral director and countless morticians who hadn’t slept since the massacre the day before because they had been working 24/7 trying to handle so many bodies at once, so many innocent little bodies who had their entire lives still yet to live.”
Matthew became choked up while recalling meeting the parents of Alithia Ramirez, who had dreams of becoming an artist before she was killed.
McConaughey mentioned that Alithia’s dad Ryan had hoped to spoil his daughter after landing a full-time job but was never able to do that. Matthew said, “He didn’t get to spoil his daughter. Alithia did not get to go to school.”
Matthew remembered victim Maite Rodriguez, who wore green Converse shoes with a heart on the right toe. He got emotional when mentioning that the shoes were the “only clear evidence that could identify her.”
Of the horrific aftermath that funeral cosmetologists struggled with, Matthew said, “These bodies were very different. They need much more than makeup to be presentable. They needed extensive restoration. Why? Due to the exceptionally large exit wounds of an AR-15 rifle. Most of the bodies were so mutilated that only DNA tests or green Converses could identify them.”
He commented, “Many children were left not only dead but hollow.”
McConaughey pushed for gun reforms, like universal background checks, raising the minimum age to buy an AR-15 to 21, red flag laws, and imposing an waiting period before someone can buy assault weapons.
He said, “These are reasonable, practical, tactical regulations to our nation, states, community, 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’re a step forward for a civil society and — and the Second Amendment.”
In his plea, Matthew reiterated, “As divided as our country is, this gun responsibility issue is one that we agree on more than we don’t… This should be a nonpartisan issue. This should not be a partisan issue.”
He told the people in the room, “Can both sides rise above? Can both sides see beyond the political problem at hand and see that we have a life preservation problem on our hands? We have chance to reach for and grasp a higher ground beyond our political affiliations.”
He elaborated, “We’ve got to take a sober, humble, and honest look in the mirror and rebrand ourselves based on what we truly value. Find a middle ground… We are not as divided as we are told we are.”
Matthew ended his speech by stressing the importance of being knowledgeable, wise, and making the “right choices” about gun reform.
The day before, McConaughey released an op-ed titled, “It’s Time to Act on Gun Responsibility.” He wrote, “I believe that responsible, law-abiding Americans have a Second Amendment right, enshrined by our founders, to bear arms. I also believe we have a cultural obligation to take steps toward slowing down the senseless killing of our children.”
McConaughey stressed, “There is no constitutional barrier to gun responsibility. Keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous people is not only the responsible thing to do, it is the best way to protect the Second Amendment. We can do both.”