People have been begging government leaders to change gun laws for too long. It seems like Matthew McConaughey is taking further action after the shooting in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas. McConaughey, who is known for being a proud Texan, spoke from the podium during a White House briefing on Tuesday. For those who love their guns and want to resist change, McConaughey himself owns guns. Having those Texas roots, he learned to hunt early on in life. However, he is pushing for stricter background checks, age requirements to be bumped up to 21, waiting periods for sales, and red flag laws. He discussed all of this as well as advocating for more to be done to support people’s mental health.
McConaughey told stories about the victims and what morticians said happened to their bodies. One girl could only be identified by her green high-top converse that she wore everyday. This was an important reminder that these were real people with full lives ahead of them, not just faces on a screen. In his passionate speech, McConaughey said, “Again, you know what every one of these parents wanted, what they asked us for? What every parent separately expressed in their own way to Camila and me? That they want their children’s dreams to live on. That they want their children’s dreams to continue to accomplish something after they are gone. They want to make their loss of life matter.”
When he and his wife, Camila, sat down with the families of the victims they were told what each child’s future plans and dreams were. They had hope for a future that was bright. There was no reason to believe that anything would disrupt that.
McConaughey spoke of what a bullet from an AR-15 did to the bodies of those killed that day—and even the injuries are terrifying. For a moment you think he shouldn’t be talking about something so awful. However, it’s clear that’s exactly why he needed to speak clearly, without filters. There are details about these shootings that get swept under the rug because they make our stomachs turn to hear. We rightfully want to shield the families from having to hear about it over and over again but they also want change and we as a nation should give it to them. Unless we face what it really means to continue allowing mass killings to happen, it’s too easy to move on. Be uncomfortable. Let the politicians and the lawmakers be uncomfortable. Let the people resisting change be uncomfortable because it’s better to face the reality of the situation than to let the list of the dead we grieve grow.
The entire speech is worth watching. McConaughey connected with these families and allowed us to do the same. Hear what he has to say and know that change is possible. It just takes more people pushing for it. It takes action above all else.
As a reminder to those who seem so concerned about “freedom,” people aren’t trying to take your guns. We are just begging for enough change to keep children from dying in their schools, your friends from dying when they go to the grocery store, and your parents safe when they attend their place of worship. Don’t be so fearful of what change might mean in an unknown future that you neglect the lives being lost today. Be sure to watch the entire speech below.