Things That Matter

Matthew McConaughey Tells the Story of Uvalde Victim Maite Rodriguez in Emotional Plea for Gun Responsibility

Amidst much-needed talk about gun reform since the tragic Uvalde, Texas shooting that occurred in Robb Elementary School on May 24, Matthew McConaughey is joining the conversation in a big way.

The Uvalde-born actor made an impassioned speech at the White House briefing room on Tuesday, talking about the need for stricter gun control measures.

McConaughey spoke about the state of the victims’ bodies after the tragedy, describing “the exceptionally large exit wounds of an AR-15 rifle.” He explained how the children and teachers needed “extensive restoration” by mortuary cosmetologists for that reason, and talked about how difficult it was to identify victims in the first place.

The actor talked about how many victims needed DNA tests because “most of the bodies [were] so mutilated” adding that “many children were left not only dead but hollow.”

He specifically went into 10-year-old victim Maite Rodriguez’s case, who was identified by her green Converse sneakers with a heart drawn on one of the toes.

As McConaughey’s wife Camila Alves held onto the sneakers, the actor’s voice cracked as he said: “These are the same green Converse on her feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her after the shooting.”

McConaughey and Alves made a trip to Uvalde after the tragedy and met with the victims’ loved ones, describing: “You could feel the shock in the town. You could feel the pain, the denial, the disillusion, anger, blame, sadness, loss of lives, dreams halted.”

The actor also said that the parents all talked about wanting “their children’s dreams to live on… to accomplish something after they are gone. They want to make their loss of life matter.”

Now, the “Dallas Buyers Club” actor is hoping the Uvalde tragedy can at the very least lead to meaningful gun reform.

After meeting with President Biden, the actor took to the podium to talk about the need for universal background checks and raising the minimum age for AR-15 purchases to 21 years old.

McConaughey said, “These are reasonable, practical, tactical regulations… responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals.”

The actor also brought up party affiliations, and the current political divisions in the U.S. He said, “We got to get some real courage and honor our immortal obligations instead of our party affiliations.”

About the current divisive climate, he continued, “Enough of the invalidation of the other side. Let’s come to the common table that represents the American people. 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 are being told we are.”

As per CNN, McConaughey has met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi apart from his brief meeting with the President, all in the hopes of a real change in gun laws.

The actor also wrote an article for the Austin American-Statesman where he talks about being from Uvalde, and refers to himself as a “father, the son of a kindergarten teacher, and an American.”

In the article, McConaughey outlines a four-point plan for gun reform, focusing on “gun responsibility” rather than control, since he believes “law-abiding Americans have a Second Amendment right, enshrined by our founders, to bear arms.”

To make “the lost lives matter,” the actor calls for: “all gun purchases” requiring a background check, raising the age to 21 to buy an assault rifle, a national waiting period to buy assault rifles, and red flag laws, which allows loved ones and law enforcement to prevent certain individuals from accessing guns.

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