Actor Matthew McConaughey traveled back to his hometown of Uvalde, Texas, Friday to pay his respects to the victims of the school shooting that has devastated the nation.
McConaughey, 52, was born and raised in the small town, as reported by Fox News. His mother even worked as a teacher at a school just a mile away from Robb Elementary. Last week, Salvador Ramos, 18, allegedly killed 19 children and two teachers before a Border Patrol agent showed up and killed him.
Unsurprisingly, McConaughey has stepped up as one of the most high-profile celebrities to speak out against the tragedy. On Friday in Uvalde, he appeared with Rep. Tony Gonzalez at the Uvalde Civic Center to offer condolences to the families. He has also publicly lamented the “epidemic” of school shootings, saying he hopes for a way to “control” them moving forward.
“Once again we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us,” the actor wrote in a social media statement earlier in the week.
“As Americans, Texans, mother and fathers, it’s time we re-evaluate. And renegotiate our wants from our needs,” he continued in part. “We have to rearrange our values. And find a common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children’s issue.”
Matthew McConaughey’s statement regarding Uvalde garnered mixed reactions from social media commenters
Like politics on the whole, the actor’s statement drew both support and criticism from the social media masses. Some very high-profile commenters flocked to Instagram to show their appreciation for McConaughey’s words.
“This man is a true example,” wrote Thomas Brag, co-creator of the Seek Discomfort brand. “Beautifully written, thank you,” commented the band Illiterate Light. Some other folks urged him to run for office; while many simply agreed with his perspective, saying that he’d written a “beautiful” statement.
Many commenters also flocked to McConaughey’s post to express their frustration for a Texan essentially calling for limiting freedoms in the form of gun control. Even more, however, didn’t think that he dug in his heels deep enough. One commenter said, “Why are celebs afraid to call for gun reforms[?]” while another said, “I agree Matthew is playing it way safe with this post because if he comes out and advocates for gun control he will fail in Texas politics Beto-style.”
The general sentiment regarding the post seems to be that McConaughey is purposefully speaking more like a politician than an emotionalized citizen. Many Americans believe that deeply-rooted problems also somehow come with the simplest of solutions; which usually means limiting a freedom for someone else. However, the situations tend to be far more complex.