Matthew McConaughey has addressed the deadly shooting in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas, where a lone gunman killed at least 19 students and two adults at Robb Elementary School.
Eighteen-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos, a student at the Uvalde High School, carried out the mass shooting alone before being shot dead by law enforcement on Tuesday 24 May, officials said.
According to state senator Roland Gutierrez, Ramos had hinted on social media that an attack could be coming. “He suggested the kids should watch out,” the lawmaker told reporters.
In his statement, McConaughey said that Americans needed to find “common ground” in “an epidemic we can control”.
“As you are all aware, there was another mass shooting today, this time in my hometown,” the 52-year-old actor, who spent the first 12 years of his life in Uvalde, Texas, said.
He highlighted how important it 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?’”
The Interstellar star then pleaded for the US citizens to “renegotiate our wants from our needs”.
“We have to rearrange our values and find common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children’s issue,” he wrote. “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.”
Ramos reportedly shot his grandmother before driving to Robb Elementary just before midday on Tuesday.
“The suspect made entry into the school and as soon as he made entry into the school he started shooting children, teachers, whoever’s in his way,” Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety told local media.
McConaughey is one of a number of celebrities who have spoken out over the shooting.
Taylor Swift broke her months-long Twitter hiatus to share a video of griefstricken Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, whose team was set to play a game 400 miles from where the fatal shooting took place.
“Filled with rage and grief, and so broken by the murders in Uvalde. By Buffalo, Laguna Woods and so many others,” Swift wrote.
“By the ways in which we, as a nation, have become conditioned to unfathomable and unbearable heartbreak. Steve’s words ring so true and cut so deep.”
Other celebrities who shared their grief about the incident are Chris Evans, rapper Offset, Elizabeth Banks and Jimmy Kimmel among others.