The mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas — a tragedy with which America is all too familiar — has many Americans demanding stricter gun control laws and bans on assault weapons. Some parents have surrendered their weapons since the massacre that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers. Others have only clutched on to theirs tighter.
Matthew McConaughey, a Uvalde, Texas, native and self-described “father and a gun owner, the son of a kindergarten teacher,” penned a four-point list in the Austin American-Statesman outlining what he believes needs to be done in terms of gun responsibility.
In the op-ed, McConaughey specifically calls for “gun responsibility” as opposed to “gun control,” arguing that the latter has resulted in a decades-long stalemate between Democrats and Republicans and infringes the Second Amendment.
“There is a difference between control and responsibility. 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,” the actor wrote.
He then cited some “long-term societal factors” that need to be addressed. A day after the shooting, McConaughey called for Americans to “do better” and to “take a longer and deeper look in the mirror, and ask ourselves, ‘What is it that we truly value?’”
McConaughey then outlined a four-step plan in his op-ed, adding that he is “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.”
His plan includes:
- Background checks for all gun purchases. “Gun control activists call this a loophole,” he wrote. “I call it incompetence.”
- A minimum age of 21 to purchase an assault rifle, unless that individual is in the military. “I’m talking about the weapon of choice for mass murderers, AR-15s,” he wrote. “The killer in my hometown of Uvalde purchased two AR-15s for his eighteenth birthday, just days before he killed 19 students and two teachers. He obeyed the law. Had the law been different, perhaps I wouldn’t be writing this today.”
- 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.”
- Mandatory waiting periods for assault rifles.
“Business as usual isn’t working. “That’s just how it is” cannot be an excuse. 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,” McConaughey wrote.
“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. It’s time for real leaders to step up and do what’s right, so we can each and all just keep livin’.”