Matthew McConaughey, Academy Award-winning actor and native to Uvalde, Texas visited Washington, D.C. earlier this week where he met with scores of lawmakers on Capitol Hill in order to push for bipartisan action on reform.
At a White House press briefing Tuesday, McConaughey made an emotional plea for gun reform, giving moving details of his meetings with grieving families last week in his hometown and the extent of damage to the children’s bodies.
“The common thread — independent of the anger and the confusion and sadness — it was the same. How can these families continue to honor these deaths by keeping the dreams of these children and teachers alive? How can we make the loss of these lives matter?” he began. “While we honor and acknowledge the victims, we need to recognize that this time, it seems that something is different.”
“These bodies were very different,” he said of the 19 children and two teachers killed. “They needed extensive restoration. Why? Due to the exceptionally large exit wounds of an AR-15 rifle. Most of the bodies were so mutilated that only DNA tests or green Converse could identify them…Many children were left not only dead — but hollow.”
“Can both sides see beyond the political problem at hand and admit that we have a life preservation problem on our hands?” McConaughey continued, at times fighting back tears. “We’ve got to take a sober, humble, and honest look in the mirror and rebrand ourselves based on what we truly value.”
Noting that he himself is a gun owner, he asked for lawmakers to “find a middle ground,” which he said is “the place where most of us Americans live anyway, especially on this issue.”
“There is not a Democratic or Republican value in one single act of these shooters,” McConaughey said. “But people in power have failed to act. So we’re asking you and I’m asking you … can both sides rise above? Can both sides see beyond the political problem at hand and admit that we have a life-preservation problem on our hands? We got a chance right now to reach for and to grasp a higher ground above our political affiliations.”