A pair of green shoes, family photos, children's drawings & # 8230; These are some of the items that Matthew McConaughey brought with him to the White House yesterday, and which played a central “role” in his emotionally charged speech about the recent Texas elementary school massacre and the urgent need for legislative changes.
The award-winning actor hails from the town of Uwalde, where an 18-year-old was recently shot dead after he first stormed an elementary school with a semi-automatic rifle and opened fire indiscriminately, killing 19 children and two teachers. The 52-year-old Hollywood star had a brief meeting with the US president yesterday to discuss gun ownership, an issue that has divided Americans for decades and is a key area of debate between Republicans and Democrats.
McConaughey then appeared at the press briefing on items belonging to the unborn children of his birthplace. He talked about the dreams they had for their future, about their life with their family, about the emptiness and the unspeakable pain caused by their death. For several moments, reading the biographies of some of the victims, his voice “broke” with emotion, and he seemed ready to burst into tears. Other times, he seems to be overflowing with rage for the unjust loss of the children, with the characteristic snapshot that hit his fist on the podium in front of him.
The 52-year-old told how, the day after the massacre at the primary school, he and his wife rushed to Uvalde to support the victims' parents and the community that was shocked by the horrific incident. He said that all the parents he spoke to expressed the desire for their children's dreams to stay alive. “They want their loss to mean something.”
The personal stories of the children lost in the tragedy were undoubtedly one of the strongest moments of the star's speech. McConaughey talked about Maite Rodriguez, who dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. The wife of 52-year-old Camila, who was in the room, was holding the girl's green Converse shoes. In one of them was painted a heart, which symbolized the girl's love for the environment.
Camila Alves McConaughey, wife of actor @McConaughey , holds a pair of shoes worn by one of the victims of the school shooting in #Uvalde, #Texas, during the daily news conference at the White House on June 07, 2022 in #Washington, DC. pic.twitter.com/tPFNa8Q7Nz
— GAROWE ONLINE (@GaroweOnline) June 8, 2022
“These same green Converse, at her feet, was the only clear evidence of her identification after the massacre,” McConaughey said.
The actor showed reporters a painting by Alithia Ramirez, who dreamed of attending a school of fine arts in Paris. He also told them about Eliahna “Ellie” Garcia, who loved dancing and church and already knew, even though she was so young, how to drive a tractor. Ellie was looking forward to reading verses from the Bible at her next church service with her parents, but she did not succeed because the 18-year-old butcher cut the thread of her life with his gun.
As the White House spokeswoman said yesterday, McConaughey wanted to use his platform during his visit yesterday to “call on leaders (of Congress) to take bipartisan action to stop the senseless killings and to end the killings.” the weapons that we know save lives. “
“Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals,” McConaughey said.
“These regulations are not a step back, they’re a step forward for civil society and the Second Amendment.” https://t.co/1wuqDlcs36
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 7, 2022
The award-winning star specifically called for strengthening the background checks of those interested in buying a weapon and raising the age limit for the purchase of AR-15 rifles to 21, from the current 18. “We want safe and secure schools and gun laws that will not help the & # 8220; bad & # 8221; to get their cursed weapons “said the 52-year-old.
McConaughey's speech lasted a total of 22 minutes and had a very personal tone, since he comes from the city where the bloody attack took place. In fact, as he explained, his mother was teaching in a kindergarten a few meters from Robb Primary School, where the 19 children were killed.
The gun owner himself pointed out that the town of Uwalde was the place where he was taught the responsibilities that come with buying a gun. “There I learned to respect the power and capabilities of this tool,” he said
The 2nd Amendment comment makes this sound like bullshit. There is no 2nd Amendment right to carry firearms and murder people. Trying to appease the NRA?
Matthew McConaughey: There's a difference between gun control and gun responsibility https://t.co/tD4fsupnZL via @Yahoo
— Gary Kellum (@garykellum) June 8, 2022
The “Interstellar” star encouraged Congress to make immediate changes that could save lives, without violating the Second Amendment to the US Constitution (which describes gun ownership as a constitutional right). He also expressed optimism that this time something can really change. “There is a sense that there may be a possible path ahead,” McConaughey said, adding that changes to gun laws were not enough to end mass shootings and tragedies. to invest in the mental health system. We need to have safer schools. We need to limit dramatized media coverage. “We need to restore our family values and we need to have responsible gun ownership,” said the actor.
The star's speech caused quite a stir on social media, with many users adoring the actor for his willingness to use his reputation to help make substantial changes. However, there was a significant portion of users who strongly criticized the actor, seeing behind his initiative the desire to engage in politics or reap other benefits. Many also blamed him for not actually calling for drastic measures to curb gun ownership, as he himself uses and supports the use of weapons.