Texas school shooting: Uvalde-born actor Matthew McConaughey calls for increased gun control in poignant White House speech | American News

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American actor Matthew McConaughey gave a moving and powerful speech at the White House on the need for “responsible” gun legislation.

His emotional appearance followed the filming in Uvalde, Texaslast month of 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School – one of the worst school shootings in the United States.

Uvalde-born gun owner McConaughey appeared to hold back tears and choke, as he held up photos of some of the child victims and spoke about their families, what they were wearing on the day they were shot and of what they wanted. to be when they grew up.

In the very personal 22-minute speech to a silent White House press conference room, the Hollywood star described how he and his wife Camilla spent the past week with grieving families and spoke at length about their loss – and the need to “make those lives matter”.

Matthew McConaughey speaking on gun legislation at the White House
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Matthew McConaughey held up photos of some of the child victims
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He went through a brief biography of each victim, at one point banging his fist on the lectern, looking frustrated at the loss of life.

Dropout salvador ramos went on a murderous rampage at school with an assault rifle. He was eventually killed by law enforcement.

And while acknowledging Americans’ Second Amendment right to bear arms, McConaughey said he believes constitutional law does not mean there cannot be effective gun control legislation.

Learn more about the Texas school shooting

This included, he said, more background checks, limiting the sale of certain high-powered weapons, introducing so-called “red flag” laws that highlight people with mental health issues or extremists. trying to buy guns and raising the minimum age to buy AR-15s like the one used by 18-year-old Ramos to 21.

“These are reasonable, practical and tactical regulations,” he said. “These regulations are not a step backward, they are a step forward for a civil society and for the Second Amendment.”

The victims

McConaughey acknowledged that gun legislation would not end mass shootings, but suggested steps could be taken to reduce the chances of such tragedies occurring so frequently.

“Is this a panacea? Hell no, but people are suffering.”

“Bad guys don’t have to have those damn guns”

He added that all the parents of each victim had told him and his wife that they wanted “the dreams of their children to live on…to continue to achieve something after they were gone”, which left him pushed him to talk.

Everyone he spoke to, “families of the deceased, mothers, fathers, Texas rangers, hunters, responsible gun owners,” he said, was united: “They all said that we want responsible gun laws that won’t make it easy for the bad guys to get these fucking guns.”

President Joe BidenUvalde’s administration has asked Congress to pass gun control measures following the killings of Uvalde and another, racist attack, also in May, in a supermarket in BuffaloNew York, which left 10 dead.

But historically, gun control laws have been very difficult to pass in a politically evenly divided Congress — as the issue tends to be voted on almost entirely by Republicans against Democrats.

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McConaughey also said: “We need to look at ourselves soberly, honestly and humbly in the mirror.

“We must show real courage and honor our immortal obligations – instead of our partisan affiliations.

“Enough back-punching, enough invalidation on the other side. Let’s find some common ground – where most of us Americans live anyway – especially on this issue. .

“Maybe setting an example for our kids gives us a reason to tell them…these are great American leaders here, I hope you grow up to be like them.

“We can’t really be leaders if we only live to be re-elected.”

Read more:
Why Do US Gun Sales Rise After Mass Shootings?

Maps reveal extent of gun violence in America
Is America Too Deeply Divided to Address Its Gun Problem?

McConaughey spoke about his own ties to the town of Uvalde. He said his mother taught kindergarten children less than a mile from Robb.

He also noted that it was the place where he was taught the responsibilities that come with owning firearms.

“Uvalde is where I learned to revere the power and ability of the tool we call a gun. Uvalde is where I learned to own a responsible weapon,” he said. -he declares.

“Slow Down the Senseless Murder”

His appearance came a day after the actor, known for his roles in films like The Wedding Planner and Dallas Buyers Club, wrote an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman titled It’s time to act on corporate accountability. fire arms.

In it, McConaughey said U.S. lawmakers should understand there was a difference between gun “control” and “accountability.”

“I believe that responsible, law-abiding Americans have the Second Amendment right, enshrined in our founders, to bear arms. I also believe that we have a cultural obligation to take action to slow the senseless killing of our children. “, he wrote.

“There is no constitutional bar to gun liability,” McConaughey continued. “Keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people is not only the responsible thing to do, it’s the best way to protect the Second Amendment. We can do both.”

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