Following Meeting with Joe Biden, Actor Matthew McConaughey Gives Emotional Address on Gun Violence Legislation to White House Reporters

Uvalde, Texas native Matthew McConaughey spoke to reporters in the White House briefing room about gun violence legislation following a meeting with Joe Biden. McConaughey gave a lengthy, emotional address that paid tribute to the nineteen children and two teachers murdered in last month’s elementary school massacre by troubled 18-year-old Salvador Ramos who was killed by police an hour after he entered the building. Ramos’ weapon of choice, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, has become the center of the debate on preventing mass shootings.

McConaughey’s wife Camila Alves joined him at the White House but did not speak to reporters. The couple has three children.


Matthew McConaughey holds a photo of 10-year-old Alithia Ramirez who was slain in the Uvalde school massacre. Screen image.

Photos and video clips (complete video at end):

McConaughey proposed solutions in his address that were in an op-ed he under his name that was published Monday by the Austin American-Statesmen (excerpt)

The need for mental health care, school safety, the prevalence of sensationalized media coverage, and the decaying state of American values are all long-term societal factors that must be addressed, but right now, we don’t have the luxury of time. We need to focus on corrections and countermeasures that can also and immediately reduce the gun violence tragedies that have become too common in our country.

…We need to make the lost lives matter. Our leaders must make bipartisan compromises on a few reasonable measures to restore responsible gun ownership in our country.

I believe:

1) All gun purchases should require a background check. Eighty-eight percent of Americans support this, including a lot of responsible gun owning Texans. … I’ve met them. Dylann Roof, who killed nine people in a black church in South Carolina in 2015, got his pistol without a completed background check due to a legal technicality. The system failed. Gun control activists call this a loophole. I call it incompetence.

2) Unless you are in the military, you should be 21 years old to purchase an assault rifle. I’m not talking about 12-gauge shotguns or lever-action hunting rifles. I’m talking about the weapon of choice for mass murderers, AR-15s. The killer in my hometown of Uvalde purchased two AR-15s for his eighteenth birthday, just days before he killed 19 students and two teachers. He obeyed the law. Had the law been different, perhaps I wouldn’t be writing this today.

3) Red Flag Laws should be the law of the land. These measures, which are already in effect in 19 states and Washington, D.C., empower loved ones or law enforcement to petition courts to temporarily prevent individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or accessing firearms. These laws must respect due process, judicial review, and hold account individuals who may abuse such laws.

4) We need to institute a national waiting period for assault rifles. Individuals often purchase weapons in a fit of rage, harming themselves or others. Studies show that mandatory waiting periods reduced homicides by 17 percent. Gun suicides account for the majority of U.S. gun deaths. A waiting period to purchase an assault rifle is an acceptable sacrifice for responsible gun owners when it can prevent a mass shooting crime of passion or suicide.

Integrating gun safety training, safe storage proposals, and bolstering school safety are also beneficial, but are not government-only solutions. Companies, private organizations, and responsible gun owners have a big role to play.

I want to be clear. I am not under the illusion that these policies will solve all of our problems, but if responsible solutions can stop some of these tragedies from striking another community without destroying the Second Amendment, they’re worth it.

McConaughey arrived on Capitol Hill Monday where he spent the day and Tuesday meeting and dining with congressmen and senators, including leadership, from both parties before heading to the White House.

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