WASHINGTON (AP) — Academy Award–winning actor Matthew McConaughey offered an emotional call on Congress to “reach a higher ground” and pass gun control legislation.
In a roughly 22-minute speech at the White House on Tuesday, McConaughey, a Uvalde, Texas, native, offered a full-throated exhortation for a gridlocked Congress to pass gun reforms that can save lives while not infringing on Second Amendment rights.
“Let’s come to the common table that represents the American people,” McConaughey said. “Let’s find a middle ground, the place where most of us Americans live anyway, especially on this issue. Because I promise you, America, you and me. We are not as divided as we’re being told we are.”
McConaughey used his star power to make an argument for legislation in a fashion that the Biden administration has not been able to by offering a clear connection to the small Texas town and offering vivid detail of the sheer loss of the 19 children and two teachers gunned down in last month’s mass shooting.
“I’m here today in hopes of applying what energy reason and passion that I have into trying to turn this moment into a reality,” McConaughey said. “Because as I said, this moment is different. We are in a window of opportunity right now that we have not been in before. A window where it seems like real change. Real change can happen.”
McConaughey listed some of the other moves he wants to see made.
“We need to invest in mental health care. We need safer schools. We need to restrain sensationalized media coverage. We need to restore our family values. We need to restore American values. And we need responsible gun ownership,” he said. “We need background checks. We need to raise the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 rifle to 21. We need a waiting period for those rifles. We need red flag laws and consequences for those who abuse them.”