Matthew McConaughey, a native of Uvalde, Texas, called for action after a shooting occurred at Robb Elementary School in his hometown, saying “we all know we can do better.”
The comments by the actor came after 19 children and two adults were killed when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire on Tuesday, May 24, in the Uvalde elementary school. It’s among the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.
McConaughey, who has previously entertained a political career in Texas, said late Tuesday night every American should ask themselves how they can rectify the problem to make the country safer.
“As Americans, Texans, mothers and fathers, it’s time we reevaluate, and renegotiate our wants from our needs,” McConaughey said. “We have to rearrange our values and find a common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children’s issue.”
He later said that the epidemic is something “we can control.”
“Whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better,” he said. “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.”
The actor did not directly reference gun violence in his statement, but he has previously referred to it as the “epidemic in our country,” The Associated Press reported in 2018.
He said at the time that anti-gun activists and the National Rifle Association need to communicate to figure out a solution.
“The two sides (have) got to talk. Because we both agree that there’s an epidemic. We both agree something has got to change,” he said, according to the AP. “So I was for what they were marching for, and I wanted to speak to my hometown on the capital of my state Texas’ steps. And also talk to the many men and women who I grew up with, I know that had the guns, that owned the guns, and say hey, do we really, where can we reach across the aisle here? Find a compromise for the betterment of all of us?”
He also spoke at a 2018 March For Our Lives rally in Austin, where he mentioned several ways the “epidemic” can be solved. A ban on assault weapons for civilians and better background checks for gun purchases are necessary, he said at the time, according to People.
McConaughey was born in Uvalde in 1969, and his family moved to Longview in northeast Texas in 1980, according to Texas Monthly.
He was previously considering running for governor in Texas and said in November when announcing he would not run that “we have some problems we need to fix (and) our politics needs new purpose.”