Matthew McConaughey speech: what did actor say about gun control in White House after Texas school shooting?
The actor was joined by his wife, Camila Alves, in the White House briefing room where he called for legislation that could prevent ‘Columbines, Sandy Hooks, Parklands, Las Vegases, Buffaloes, and Uvaldes’
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Actor Matthew McConaughey appeared at the White House to make an appeal for gun control, following the shooting that took place in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last month which saw 19 children and two teachers killed.
Together with his wife, Camila Alves, McConaughey took centre stage at the White House where he acknowledged that gun legislation would not end mass shootings but suggested that steps could be taken to lessen the chances of such tragedies happening so frequently.
Since the shooting in Uvalde took place on 24 May, the US has seen three more mass shootings occur - the Warren Clinic shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on 1 June, a shooting in Philadelphia on 4 June, and the shooting at a Chattanooga nightclub on 5 June.
What did Matthew McConaughey say at the White House?
In an emotional and highly personal 22 minute long speech, McConaughey called on Congress to “reach a higher ground” and pass gun control legislation in honour of those killed in his home town of Uvalde in May.
He said: “We want secure and safe schools and we want gun laws that won’t make it so easy for the bad guys to get the damn guns.”
Ramos carried out the shooting with firearms and ammunition that he obtained legally on the day he turned 18.
McConaughey spoke of returning to Uvalde upon learning the news of the shooting and meeting with the families of those who lost their children in the massacre. He shared stories of the children who were killed and displayed the trademark shoes worn by one of the victims.
He said: “We met Ana and Danilo, the mum and the stepdad of nine-year-old Maite Rodriguez. And Maite wanted to be a marine biologist. She was already in contact with Corpus Christi University of A&M for her future college enrollment. Nine years old.
“Maite cared for the environment so strongly that when the city asked her mother if they could release some balloons into the sky in her memory, her mum said, “Oh no, Maite wouldn’t want to litter”.
“Maite wore green high-top Converse with a heart she had hand-drawn on the right toe because they represented her love of nature.
“Camila has got these shoes. Can you shoe these shoes, please? Wore these every day. Green Converse with the heart on the right toe.
“Those same green Converse on her feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her after the shooting. How about that?”
He said every parent he spoke to expressed that “they want their children’s dreams to live on”.
“They want to make their loss of life matter,” McConaughey said.
Towards the end of his speech, McConughey said: “Let’s start giving all of us good reason to believe that the American Dream is not an illusion.
“So where do we start? We start by making the right choices on the issue that is in front of us today.
“We start by making laws that save innocent lives and don’t infringe on our Second Amendment rights.
“We start right now by voting to pass policies that can keep us from having as many Columbines, Sandy Hooks, Parklands, Las Vegases, Buffaloes, and Uvaldes from here on.”
What did he say on Twitter after the shooting?
Following the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the actor posted a statement to Twitter to address the incident on 25 May.
He wrote: “As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas. Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.
“The true call to action now is for every American to take a longer and deeper look in the mirror, and ask ourselves, “What is it that we truly value? How do we repair the problem? What small sacrifices can we individually take today, to preserve a healthier and safer nation, state, and neighbourhood tomorrow?” We cannot exhale once again, make excuses, and accept these tragic realities as the status quo.
“As Americans, Texans, mothers and fathers, it’s time we re-evaluate, and renegotiate our wants from our needs. We have to rearrange our values and find a common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children’s issue.
“This is an epidemic we can control, and whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better. We must do better. Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others before them have endured.
“And to those who dropped off their loved ones today not knowing it was goodbye, no words can comprehend or heal your loss, but if prayers can provide comfort, we will keep them coming.”