Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for gun reform at the White House on Tuesday afternoon, speaking to reporters in the briefing room about his experiences meeting with the families of the Robb Elementary School shootings that rocked the actor’s hometown of Uvalde, Texas on May 24.
The briefing followed a meeting between McConaughey, his wife Camila, and President Joe Biden, Deadline reports. The actor, who has been on the ground with his community since the tragedy that killed nineteen students and 2 teachers, was almost in tears as he spoke in tribute to the victims and shared personal stories.
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One of these vivid, emotional stories McConaughey shared was that of Maite Rodriguez, 9, who aspired to be a marine biologist. “Maite wore green high-top Converse with a heart she had hand-drawn on the right toe because they represented her love of nature,” he said. His wife, Camila Alves McConaughey, held up the shoes. “She wore these every day. Green converse, with a heart on the right toe. These are the same green Converse on her feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her at the shooting. How about that.”
In his remarks, the Uvalde native told reporters that “this time, it seems that something is different. There’s a sense that perhaps there’s a viable path forward” for gun control. “Responsible parties in this debate seem to at least be committed to sitting down and having a real conversation about a new and improved path forward,” he continued. “A path that can bring us closer together and make us safer as a country; a path that can actually get something done this time.”
He went on to tell reporters, “Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by deranged individuals. These regulations are not a step back, they are a step forward for a civil society and the Second Amendment.”
Watch McConaughey’s moving statement in full here:
McConaughey Has Been Outspoken Regarding Gun Reform
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The Academy Award-winning actor’s White House appearance is the latest in McConaughey’s activism in the wake of the Robb Elementary School shooting. Along with meeting with victims’ families and setting up a Uvalde Relief Fund with his wife Camila, the Dazed and Confused actor has used his platform to call on leaders to take bipartisan action on gun reform. As a Texan from Uvalde, a father and gun owner himself, McConaughey has written a four-step “gun responsibility” proposal, as well as meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
McConaughey ended today’s impassioned briefing with an emotional call to action, in which he listed the victims’ names and urged the importance of making the tragic loss of their lives matter.