Matthew McConaughey Gets Personal About Uvalde Shooting: ‘It’s On Us’

Matthew McConaughey is getting personal about his response to the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School earlier this year.

The Uvalde native penned an essay for Esquire called “Coming Home,” in which he dives into his learning of the shooting, the families he met, his relationship with guns and his involvement in the framework for new gun legislation. He also touched on his speech at a White House press conference, where he got emotional about gun control and mental health.

The Dallas Buyers Club actor recounted how he first learned of the shooting in his hometown. After finishing a full day of work, he checked his phone where he received dozens of messages from people saying how “sickening” what had happened was. That day, 19 children and two teachers were gunned down at Robb Elementary School. His wife Camila Alves, who was in London at the time, reached out and said, “We need to go down there.” She got on the next flight to Texas and made their way to Uvalde. “I was heading home,” McConaughey wrote.

McConaughey gave us a glimpse into his upbringing in Uvalde before retelling the stories of the first responders, families and elected officials he met while in the South Texas city. He also thought about his childhood and his relationship with guns after asking himself a handful of questions about the tragedy, including “What can we do to prevent this from happening again?” McConaughey went on to share his stance on guns — which he has been no stranger to making public amid the dozens of school shootings that have occurred in recent years. “I support the Second Amendment,” he began. “I believe we should have access to guns for hunting, sport, and self-defense. I believe all firearm purchases should be subject to an extensive background check, and unless you’re in the military, you should be twenty-one to purchase an assault rifle. I believe that extreme risk protection orders, or “red-flag laws,” that respect due process should be the law of the land and that firearm-safety courses should be mandatory.

“Most of my friends and neighbors in Texas agree with these positions, and many of them also agree that our Second Amendment rights have been getting hijacked by troubled men with bad intent. It seems we have forgotten that our rights come with obligations—what’s more, that our rights depend on our fulfillment of those obligations. To do nothing is more than irresponsible; it’s un-American. Our firearm policy is failing us, and we are failing it.”

He went on to share his experiences talking to politicians in the wake of the tragedy. “On our first night in town, Camila and I hosted a dinner at a Georgetown restaurant for a bipartisan group of members of the House and Senate, a number of whom were actively negotiating the proposed gun legislation. We had the private room to ourselves. Nice place. Good wine. Good food. Great conversation. No cameras. My advisors told me this type of across-the-aisle gathering to discuss such a controversial issue is rare,” McConaughey wrote. He also met President Joe Biden ahead of his White House press conference speech. “The next day, as Camila and I waited in the press secretary’s office at the White House, President Biden came by to meet us. We talked for just a few minutes, but we covered a lot of ground: our families, fatherhood, our values. We also talked about the gun legislation. I remember the clench in his molars as he said, ‘We cannot allow these mass shootings to become status quo in America.’ Amen, Mr. President,” he said.

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