Matthew McConaughey’s speech at the White House on Tuesday was strikingly different from the usual “Hollywood star lectures America” drivel: This was humble, moving and truly personal.
Uvalde is the actor’s hometown; it was the horror there that compelled him first to write for his local paper (reaching out to fellow Texans first) and then to accept the invite to speak to the nation.
His message: He and other responsible gun owners are “fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by deranged individuals” like the Uvalde shooter. “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.”
That is, “We need to restore our American values.” And such changes would be “a step forward for a civil society and the Second Amendment.”
He didn’t pretend to offer a “cure-all (Hell, no). But people are hurting, families are, parents are.”
Families he spoke to after the massacre. He spoke firsthand of the suffering, with one heart-wrenching passage coming as his wife sitting nearby held a pair of green Converse hightops: They were little Maite Rodriguez’s, he explained — and how her corpse was identified.
Congress is prepping bipartisan gun legislation now; the 21-to-own-an-AR-15 rule (which we’ve also called for) has a chance of being in the bill. McConaughey just made that a bit more likely.
This was a star using his fame in true public service.