NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINargentinaARGENTINAchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOperuPERUlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA

LATEST NEWS

Matthew McConaughey calls for gun responsibility in the US

The Texan actor has called for action after 19 children were shot dead at their school in Uvalde. On Tuesday, he met with US President Joe Biden.

Update:
Actor Matthew McConaughey, a native of Uvalde, Texas as well as a father and a gun owner, becomes emotional as he holds up a picture of 10-year-old victim Alithia Ramirez as he speaks to reporters about the school shooting in Uvalde during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 7, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque REFILE - ADDING VICTIM'S NAME     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
KEVIN LAMARQUEREUTERS

As a Texas native, last month’s senseless shooting at Robb Elementary School, Uvalde which claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers, hit Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey particularly hard. Uvalde is his hometown, where he was born and raised and the events of 24 May prompted him to take a proactive stance calling for tighter firearms regulation. With an average of 40,000 deaths per year from firearms in the US, it’s time that the issue is properly addressed, says McConaughey.

The 52-year-old, who has three young children of his own: Levi Alves McConaughey (13), Vida Alves McConaughey (12) and Livingston Alves McConaughey (9), met with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday and discussed gun responsibility measures. “He is here today to use his platform to call on (congressional) leaders to take bipartisan action to end the senseless killing and pass reasonable gun responsibility measures that we know will save lives,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said of the actor’s visit.

McConaughey pays tribute to Uvalde victims

McConaughey later at a news briefing at the White House, giving an impassioned and emotional speech during which he held up photos of some of the child victims and gave a mini-biography of a few of them, talking about their families, the clothes they were wearing on the day they were shot, their hopes and dreams and what they wanted to be when they grew up.

“My wife and I Camila spent most of last week on the ground with the families in Uvalde, Texas. We shared stories, tears and memories. The common thread, independent of the anger, confusion and sadness, was the same,” he began. “How can these families continue to honour these deaths by keeping the dreams of these children and teachers alive? How can the loss of these lives matter? While we honour and acknowledge the victims, we need to recognise that this time, it seems that something is different.There is a sense that perhaps there is a viable path forward. 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. 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”.

His voice wavered as he spoke about the life of 10-year-old Maite Rodriguez. “Maite wanted to be a marine biologist. She wore green high top Converse with a heart she had hand-drawn on the right toe because they represented her love of nature. She wore them every day. These are the same green Converse that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her after the shooting…how about that” he said, thumping the table.

This is a window of opportunity not to be missed - McConaughey

McConaughey added that he and his wife Camila have been talking to authorities and lawmakers “on both sides of the aisle to make the most of this window of opportunity, as it is our responsibility to keep our children safe”. He went on to say that the conclusion he has reached after speaking to a wide spectrum of people from Texas rangers to hunters and responsible gun owners that changes to ensure gun responsibility “is on the table”. He asked, “You know what they all said? We want safe and secure schools and we want gun laws that won’t make it so easy for the bad guys to get these damn guns.

Flowers, toys, and other objects to remember the victims of the deadliest U.S. school mass shooting in nearly a decade, resulting in the death of 19 children and two teachers, are pictured at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, U.S., May 30, 2022. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas/File Photo
Full screen
Flowers, toys, and other objects to remember the victims of the deadliest U.S. school mass shooting in nearly a decade, resulting in the death of 19 children and two teachers, are pictured at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, U.S., May 30, 2022. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas/File PhotoVERONICA CARDENASREUTERS

He outlined his proposal as he concluded, “We need to invest in mental health care. We need safer schools. We need to restrain sensationalised media coverage. We need to restore our family values, our American values and we need responsible gun ownership - we need background checks, we need to raise the minimum age to purchase an AR15 rifle to 21. We need a waiting period for those rifles, we need red flag laws and consequences for those who abuse them. These are reasonable, practical regulations. These regulations are not a step back - they are a step forward for a civil society and the second amendment. As divided as our country is, this gun responsibility issue is one that we agree on more than we don’t. But this should be a non-partisan issue but people in power have failed to act, so we are asking you, can both sides rise above. We start by giving Makenna, Layla, Maranda, Nevaeh, Jose, Xavier, Tess, Rojelio, Eliahna, Annabell, Jackie, Uziyah, Jayce, Jailah, Eva Amerie and Lexy… we start by giving them our promise that their dreams are not going to be forgotten”.