Uvlade, Texas native Matthew McConaughey called for Congress to tighten gun reform laws during an impassioned speech from the White House on Tuesday.
The “Dallas Buyers Club” star, who is a gun owner, gave a tearful 22-minute address from the White House press briefing room in response to the Robb Elementary mass shooting that claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers.
He urged politicians on both sides of the aisle to overcome their differences to change outdated gun laws, after arguing that Congress has “failed” to make any progress.
Matthew McConaughey: "We need to invest in mental healthcare. 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." pic.twitter.com/zUko7lcuPr
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) June 7, 2022
“This should be a non partisan issue,” the actor remarked. “There is not a Democratic or Republican value in one single act of the shooters. There is not. But people in power have failed to act. We are asking you, 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?”
He said that “responsible gun owners” are sick of “deranged individuals” hijacking the Second Amendment, and noted that the regulations are “not a step back, they’re a step forward for civil society and the Second Amendment.”
“We need background checks,” McConaughey suggested. “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.”
He noted that Congress has a “window of opportunity” to make “real change” happen, and urged them to rise above their political affiliations.
“We got to get some real courage and honor our mortal obligations instead of our party affiliations and enough with the counterpunching. We can’t truly be leaders if we’re only live for reelection,” he continued. ‘We’ve got to look in the mirror, lead with humility and acknowledge the values that are inherent to but also above politics.”
McConaughey teared up when he shared the stories of 18-year-old Salvador Ramos’ young victims, including ten-year-old Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, whose shoes his wife Camila held during the briefing.