Matthew McConaughey has called for ‘gun responsibility’ but not ‘control’ as he reacted to the school shooting in his Texas hometown.
The actor called for changes in the way people can buy weapons across the US following the massacre in Uvalde last month.
He said the nation has a ‘cultural obligation’ to work towards ‘slowing down the senseless killing of our children’.
But the 52-year-old, who has guns of his own, warned any changes cannot threaten the 2nd Amendment rights of citizens.
It comes after 19 children and two teachers were gunned down by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos at Robb Elementary School in McConaughey’s hometown.
It sparked renewed debate over whether gun laws should be tightened to stop youngsters getting their hands on certain weapons.
But since then there has been an array of vicious shootings, including in Oklahoma, Tennessee and Pennsylvania over the weekend.
McConaughey speaking at a March For Our Lives rally in Dallas in 2018 after the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida
Students escape through a window of Robb Elementary School after the mass shooting on May 24
‘I am a father, the son of a kindergarten teacher, and an American. I was also born in Uvalde, Texas,’ McConaughey begins in the piece published in Austin American Statesman on Monday, ‘That’s why I’m writing this.’
‘I believe that responsible, law-abiding Americans have a Second Amendment right, enshrined by our founders, to bear arms.’
‘I also believe we have a cultural obligation to take steps toward slowing down the senseless killing of our children.’
McConaughey states that debates about ‘gun control’ have led nowhere but ‘the status-quo,’ and argues that the debate should be shifted towards ‘gun responsibility.’
‘There is a difference between control and responsibility,’ he wrote, ‘The first is a mandate that can infringe on our right; the second is a duty that will preserve it. There is no constitutional barrier to gun responsibility.
McConaughey as a boy in Texas. He was born in Uvalde, Texas, where the mass shooting took place
McConaughey visiting the Robb Elementary School on May 27 in the days after the mass shooting
McConaughey visiting Uvalde, Texas, on May 27, days after the mass shooting. He has set up a relief fund to help victims of the shooting
‘Keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous people is not only the responsible thing to do, it is the best way to protect the Second Amendment. We can do both.’
McConaughey argued that background checks should be required for all gun sales, that the buying age should be increased to 21 years-old, and that there should be a national red flag system that would allow loved-ones and law enforcement to petition courts to bar individuals from buying guns for a certain period.
He also wrote that there should be a waiting period for purchasing assault rifles, arguing that those who commit atrocities with such weapons often buy them in ‘fits of rage.’
‘Individuals often purchase weapons in a fit of rage, harming themselves or others. Studies show that mandatory waiting periods reduced homicides by 17 percent, he wrote, ‘A waiting period to purchase an assault rifle is an acceptable sacrifice for responsible gun owners when it can prevent a mass shooting crime of passion or suicide.’
McConaughey (second from right) holding hands with mourners during a visit to Robb Elementary School on June3
An officer outside the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. A memorial is spread across the sign to the school
Mourners paying respects and reflecting at memorial outside the Robb Elementary School on June 1
McConaughey, who was born in Uvalde, visited the school where the 18-year-old gunman, Salvador Ramos, murdered 19 children and two teachers with an assault rifle days after the May 24 shooting.
At the beginning of June, McConaughey and his wife, Camila, launched a Uvalde Relief fund as a part of their Just Keep Livin Foundation.
The op-ed about gun rights isn’t the actor’s first foray into politics, as last year he considered making a run for Texas governor before ultimately deciding against it.
‘As a simple kid born in the little town of Uvalde, Texas, it never occurred to me that I would one day be considered for political leadership,’ McConaughey said last fall, ‘It’s a humbling and inspiring path to ponder. It is also a path that I am choosing not to take at this moment.’
A statement McConaughey released on Instagram, reflecting on the mass shooting that took place in his hometown