Matthew McConaughey makes surprise White House appearance to urge gun measures

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Actor Matthew McConaughey, a native of Uvalde, Texas, urged lawmakers to act on gun control on Tuesday in impassioned remarks delivered during a surprise appearance on the podium in the House briefing room Blanche, adding another twist to the tumultuous gun debate that has rocked Washington in the wake of several mass shootings.

McConaughey told the moving stories of the 19 children and two teachers killed by a gunman at an elementary school in the small town in South Texas on May 24. He said he and his wife, Camila Alves, had spent most of the past week with the families of the victims. in his hometown.

“You know what each of these parents wanted, what they asked of us? What did each parent express separately in their own way to Camila and me? That they want their children’s dreams to live on,” McConaughey said. “They want their loss of life to count.”

The actor then called on lawmakers in Washington to act on gun control as lawmakers try to forge a bipartisan congressional response to the recent mass shootings. Expectations of a quick deal were fading on Tuesday, even as those involved in the talks remained hopeful about the chances of an eventual deal.

“Responsible gun owners are tired of the Second Amendment being abused and misused by deranged individuals,” McConaughey said. “These regulations are not a step backward, they are a step forward for civil society and the Second Amendment.”

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McConaughey and Alves spent Tuesday morning on Capitol Hill meeting with Republican and Democratic lawmakers to discuss gun control. He also met President Biden before entering the White House briefing room with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who said the actor wanted to use his platform to deliver a message about the common sense measures regarding firearms.

The actor’s appearance reflects how much the Texas elementary school murder, with its shocking number of young victims, has garnered national attention.

McConaughey, a household name from movies like “Dazed and Confused” and “Dallas Buyers Club,” isn’t a political figure, but he flirted with the Texas gubernatorial bid last year, eventually announcing in November that he had decided not to. “As a mere child born in the small town of Uvalde, Texas, it never occurred to me that I would ever be considered for political leadership,” McConaughey said in a video to the time, adding that he would look for other ways to make a difference.

McConaughey gave little indication of his political leanings as he contemplated the campaign, saying at one point that he was more of a “folk poet and philosopher statesman” than a politician. He said he would not mandate the vaccination of young children against the coronavirus and that his two youngest had not been vaccinated.

On Tuesday, he introduced himself as a small-town Texan and gun owner who was introduced to guns early but supports responsible gun ownership and challenges those who abuse the second amendment.

Lawmakers, he said, now have a window of opportunity to pass meaningful gun control changes. The actor called for the creation of a waiting period for the purchase of AR-15 rifles, as well as raising the minimum age for the purchase of this type of weapon to 21 years old . He also called for universal background checks and red flag laws.

Gun liability, he said, is something most Americans “agree on more than we disagree on.”

“It should be a non-partisan issue,” McConaughey said. “It shouldn’t be a partisan issue. There is no Democratic or Republican value in a single act of these shooters.

In an interview with Fox News host Bret Baier after his appearance at the White House, McConaughey said his main takeaway from his conversations with members of Congress was that something was different this time around, in reference to new security measures. gun control.

“The consensus word I hear and phrase is it’s different, there’s more momentum,” McConaughey said.

On the right, he said, there are some things lawmakers are “prepared not to firmly say no to.”

“And on the left they’re ready to say, ‘You know what, maybe we want the whole loaf, but okay, we’ll take a slice of bread,'” the actor said.

“I’m told it’s something new happening right now,” he added.

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The actor told reporters that his mother taught kindergarten less than a mile from Robb Elementary School, the scene of the shooting. Uvalde, he said, is the town where he “learned to own a gun responsibly.”

Returning to his hometown after the shooting, he said, was shocking.

“You could feel the pain, the denial, the disillusionment, the anger, the blame, the sadness, the loss of life, the interrupted dreams,” he said.

McConaughey also showed artifacts from the slain children, including a drawing made by one of the victims, Alithia Ramirez, 10, who had visions of going to art school in Paris, showing herself with a friend watching her from the sky.

Another of the little girls killed, Maite Rodriguez, who was also 10, wanted to be a marine biologist, McConaughey recalled.

“Maite cared so much about the environment that when the city asked her mother if she could release balloons into the sky in her memory, her mother said ‘Oh no, Maite wouldn’t want to litter'”, did he declare.

Maite, McConaughey said, wore green high-top Converse shoes “with a heart she had drawn by hand on the right toe because it represented her love of nature.” Alves, seated next to McConaughey in the briefing room, showed off a pair of shoes.

“It was the same green Converse on his feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify him after the shooting,” McConaughey said.

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