Actor Matthew McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas.
As such, he feels a close connection to the families who lost loved ones in the Robb Elementary School shooting that claimed the lives of nineteen children and two adults.
On Monday morning, he published a thoughtful op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman, where he called not for gun control, but gun responsibility.
Matthew McConaughey Talks The Difference Between Gun Control & Responsibility In New Op-Ed
McConaughey began his op-ed by explaining that he is writing the op-ed because “I am a father, the son of a kindergarten teacher, and an American. I was also born in Uvalde, Texas.”
The 52-year-old actor said that he believed that “responsible, law-abiding” citizens have a Second Amendment right to bear arms. However, he said that “I also believe we have a cultural obligation to take steps toward slowing down the senseless killing of our children.”
Seemingly sensing that the debate about gun control is nothing but an argument about the “status quo,” the “Interstellar” actor said he wanted to talk about gun responsibility instead.
“There is a difference between control and responsibility,” he explained. “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. 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.”
‘Saving the unnecessary loss of lives is not a partisan issue’
“The Gentlemen” actor seemed to try to appease individuals on both sides of the issue, calling the recent string of mass shootings an “epidemic” of “parents burying their children, of inaction, and buck-passing.”
“Depraved acts of violence, with guns as the weapon of choice, are ripping apart families, tearing at people’s faith, and shredding the fabric of our society,” he wrote. “Saving the unnecessary loss of lives is not a partisan issue.”
The “True Detective” actor said that we don’t have “the luxury of time” to address the long-term societal factors to address gun control, such as the need for “mental health care, school safety, the prevalence of sensationalized media coverage, and the decaying state of American values.”
“We need to make the lost lives matter,” he went on. “Our leaders must make bipartisan compromises on a few reasonable measures to restore responsible gun ownership in our country.”
Matthew McConaughey Has Four Propositions For Responsible Gun Ownership
The “Dallas Buyers Club” actor believes that all gun purchases should require a background check. He went on to say that Eighty-eight percent of Americans support this, including a lot of responsible gun-owning Texans.”
He also proposed raising the age of purchasing an assault rifle to 21 years old. “I’m not talking about 12-gauge shotguns or lever-action hunting rifles,” he explained. “I’m talking about the weapon of choice for mass murderers, AR-15s.” The shooter in the Uvalde, Texas massacre purchased two AR-15s for his 18th birthday, only days before the crime.
“He obeyed the law,” Matthew McConaughey pointed out. “Had the law been different, perhaps I wouldn’t be writing this today.”
The “Greenlights” author also proposed Red Flag Laws, which “empower loved ones or law enforcement to petition courts to temporarily prevent individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or accessing firearms.”
He also proposed instituting a national waiting period for assault rifles. “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 explained.
He added, “Gun suicides account for the majority of U.S. gun deaths. 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.”
He also called safe storage proposals and school safety measures “beneficial” but said they are “not government-only solutions.”
‘Business As Usual Isn’t Working’
“I want to be clear. I am not under the illusion that these policies will solve all of our problems, but if responsible solutions can stop some of these tragedies from striking another community without destroying the Second Amendment, they’re worth it,” he wrote.
“This is not a choice between guns or no guns. It’s the responsible choice. It’s the reasonable choice,” he continued. “It’s a quintessentially American choice: Where I have the right to be me, you have the freedom to be you, and we have the responsibility to be US.”
He conceded that “both sides are going to have to answer the call and reach for the higher ground of our collective responsibility.”
“Business as usual isn’t working,” he went on. “The heinous bloodshed of innocent people cannot become bearable. If we continue to just stand by, we’re living a lie. With every right there comes a duty.”
“For ourselves, our children, and our fellow Americans—we have a duty to be responsible gun owners. Please do yours and protect the Second Amendment through gun responsibility,” he concluded. “It’s time for real leaders to step up and do what’s right, so we can each and all just keep livin’.”