An emotional Matthew McConaughey took to the White House briefing room Tuesday to argue for tougher gun laws in the wake of the mass shooting that killed 19 students and 2 teachers in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.
The veteran actor became emotional as he held up artwork and photos of children killed by the 18-year-old gunman and described the severity of the wounds inflicted by the AR-15-style rifle used in that massacre.
“Make these lives matter,” he said. When a photo of a young girl’s green Converse shoes appeared on screens across from reporters, he explained that the child’s distinctive footwear was the only way to identify her body.
Mr. McConnaughey also told reporters of a meeting with a beautician who was preparing victims’ bodies for viewing at funeral services.
He said she told him and his wife that the bodies from the Uvalde shooting were “very different” because they “required a lot more than makeup to be presentable”.
“They needed an extensive restoration. Why? Because of the exceptionally large exit wounds, an AR 15 rifle,” he said, adding that the child victims were “left not only dead but hollow” by the powerful bullets.
The veteran actor said the parents he and his wife met in Uvalde wanted their children’s “dreams to live on”, noting that everyone they met there “wanted gun laws that wouldn’t make it so easy for the bad guys to follow these.” to get”. damn guns”.
He called on Congress to “lead with humility and recognize values above politics” by passing laws that would make it more difficult for teens to obtain high-powered guns.
“We need to raise the minimum age to buy an AR 15 rifle to 21. We need a hold on those guns. We need red flag laws and consequences for those who abuse them,” he said. “These are reasonable, practical, tactical prescriptions”.
McConnaughey, himself a gun owner, said “responsible gun owners” are “tired of the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by a few deranged individuals.”
“These rules are not a step back,” he said. “They are a step forward for civil society and the Second Amendment”.
He added that passing such legislation should be “an impartial matter”.
“We now have an opportunity to reach and seize higher ground above our political affiliations — an opportunity to make a choice that does more than protect your party,” he said. “Choose to make a choice that protects our country now and for the next generation. We need to look in the mirror soberly, humbly and honestly and rename ourselves based on what we truly value.”