Matthew McConaughey has appeared at a press briefing at the White House, calling on lawmakers to enact gun safety measures so that no more children will be killed in mass shootings.
The Hollywood star who is a gun owner himself and grew up in Uvalde, Texas where 21 people were recently shot and killed including 19 children, spoke of meeting with the families of those who had lost their loved ones.
He shared the heartbreaking stories of 10-year-old Alithia who dreamed of being an artist, 9-year-old Maite who wanted to be a marine biologist and loved her green Converse shoes and 10-year-old Ellie who was so looking forward to reading her Bible passage at church, but never made it.
“We also met a cosmetologist. All right? She was well versed in mortuary makeup. That’s the task of making the victims appear as peaceful and natural as possible for their open-casket viewings,” Matthew explained.
“These bodies were very different. They needed much more than makeup to be presentable. They needed extensive restoration. Why? Due to the exceptionally large exit wounds of an AR-15 rifle. Most of the bodies so mutilated that only DNA tests or green Converse could identify them. Many children were left not only dead, but hollow.”
Matthew urged lawmakers of all political persuasions to “rise above” the noise and to listen to the majority of Americans who want responsible gun ownership.
He explained that each person he has spoken to about gun violence, from the victims’ families to Texas rangers, hunters, Border Patrol agents and responsible gun owners who firmly believe in the Second Amendment, had a similar message: “We want secure and safe schools, and we want gun laws that won’t make it so easy for the bad guys to get these damn guns.”
He urged Congress to take “reasonable” steps which could make this a reality, suggesting more investment in mental health, mandating background checks for all gun owners, introducing waiting periods, raising the age of ownership of semi-automatic rifles to 21 and more.
“As divided as our country is, this gun responsibility issue is one that we agree on more than we don’t.”
Towards the end of his speech, Matthew powerfully asked: “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?”
Watch his full speech below:
(Feature Image Credit: US actor Matthew McConaughey holds a photo of Alithia Ramirez, a 10 year old student who was killed in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, while speaking during the daily briefing in the James S Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on June 7, 2022. – McConaughey, a native of Uvalde, Texas, has been meeting with Senators to discuss gun control reform following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP via Getty Images)