“We can’t truly be leaders if we are only living for reelection,” said Matthew McConaughey at Tuesday’s White House briefing.
A native of Uvadale, Texas, Matthew McConaughey was on hand to plea for gun reform during Washington’s daily briefing in the White House’s James S. Brady Press Briefing Room June 7.
“We’ve got to look in the mirror, lead with humility and acknowledge the values that are inherent to but also above politics,” the actor, activist, and almost-Texas-gubernatorial candidate offered. “We got to make choices, make stands, embrace new ideas, and preserve the traditions that can create true, true progress for the next generation.”
McConaughey didn’t hold back, tearing up as he spoke of the victims in his hometown’s Robb Elementary School. “We got to get some real courage and honor our mortal obligations instead of our party affiliations and enough with the counterpunching.” he continued. “We can’t truly be leaders if we’re only live in for reelection.”
As the national debate over gun reform takes center stage once more, McConaughey is urging lawmakers to give Americans “good reason to believe that the American dream is not an illusion.”
Matthew McConaughey Urges Lawmakers to Work Together and ‘Restore Our Family Values’ through ‘Responsible Gun Ownership’
“We need to restore our family values. We need to restore our American values. And we need responsible gun ownership,” he adds, saying lawmakers can only do so if both sides of the aisle “work together.”
“This should be a non-partisan issue. There is not a Democratic or Republican value in one single act of the shooters. There is not. But people in power have failed to act. We are asking you, I’m asking you, will you please ask yourselves, can both sides rise above? Can both sides see beyond the political problem at hand and admit that we have a life preservation problem on our hands?” the actor continues.
McConaughey held several powerful visual aids during his emotional plea. Two featured 10-year-old Alithea Ramirez, a victim of the mass shooting. Alithea was an artist, he said as he held one of her drawings with permission from her parents. Alithea “dreamed of going to art school in Paris,” a dream that was cut short by the massacre.
“My wife and I, Camila, we 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 and the confusion, sadness … How can these families continue to honor these deaths by keeping the dreams of these children and teachers alive? How can a loss of these lives matter?” he asked.
‘We need background checks. We need to raise the minimum age to purchase an ar-15 rifle to 21.
McConaughey also calls for more mental health programs alongside background checks. Raising the age to buy assault weapons to 21, and red flag laws, he says are also crucial steps.
‘We need background checks. We need to raise the minimum age to purchase an ar-15 rifle to 21,” he pleaded. In addition, a “waiting period for those rifles … And red flag laws and consequences for those who abused them,” he continues.
For McConaughey’s part, “Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals. These regulations are not a step back. They’re a step forward for civil society and and the Second Amendment.”
In the end, the actor believes “something is different” this time. “There is a sense that perhaps there’s 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.”