Actor Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) urged lawmakers to act on gun control legislation in an impassioned and moving speech at the White House on Tuesday (June 7).
During his remarks, the Academy Award winner shared stories about a few of the 19 children and two teachers killed by a gunman who entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last month. McConaughey was born in Uvalde, a city 80 miles west of San Antonio. Last week, he and his wife, Camila Alves, visited the victims’ families.
“You know what every one of these parents wanted, what they asked us for?” McConaughey said in the White House press briefing room. “What every parent separately expressed in their own way to Camila and me? That they want their children’s dreams to live on. That they want their children’s dreams to continue, to accomplish something after they are gone. They want to make their loss of life matter.”
McConaughey showed a photo of 10-year-old Alithia Ramirez and talked about how it was her dream to go to art school in Paris. He also shared artwork made by Ramirez. He talked about Maite Rodriguez, another 10-year-old victim, and her dream to go to college to become a marine biologist. Sitting to the right of McConaughey in the briefing room, Alves held a replica pair of the green Converse that Rodriguez would wear to school every day. One of the shoes had a heart drawn on it. McConaughey explained that her shoes were the only way law enforcement was able to identify Rodriguez’s body.
The day before his White House visit, an op-ed by McConaughey was published by the Austin-American Statesman detailing some of the legislation he would like to see Congress pass in response to the Uvalde tragedy. He echoed those ideas on Tuesday by calling for the implementation of red flag laws and universal background checks, raising the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 to 21, and setting a waiting period for those weapons.
“These are reasonable, practical, tactical regulations to our nation, states, communities, schools and homes,” he said. “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.”
See McConaughey’s full remarks at the White House below: