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'An epidemic we can control' | Uvalde-native Matthew McConaughey reacts to school shooting

The actor called for Americans to ask themselves "what is it that we truly value?"

AUSTIN, Texas — Actor Matthew McConaughey, a Uvalde native, on June 6 penned an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman reacting to the school shooting that occurred almost two weeks ago.

In the piece, he talks about how he was born in the small town and that although he believes that Americans have the Second Amendment right, we also have a "cultural obligation" to move toward slowing down mass killings like the one that occurred in Uvalde.

Twenty-one people were killed in the shooting, including 19 children, at Robb Elementary school.

"There is a difference between control and responsibility," McConaughey writes in the piece. "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."

McConaughey goes on to describe "depraved acts of violence" like the one in Uvalde as an "epidemic."

"We have an epidemic of indiscriminate mass shootings, of parents burying their children, of inaction, and buck-passing. Saving the unnecessary loss of lives is not a partisan issue," he said.

McConaughey then lists a series of stances he's taken on the matter, such as support for background checks, raising the age to purchase an assault rifle, red flag laws, and the institution of a national waiting period for assault rifles.

To read the full op-ed, click here.

Soon after the tragic events of May 24, McConaughey posted a statement on his social media pages. In it, he stated that Americans have "tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us."

"The true call to action now is for every American to take a longer and deeper look in the mirror, and ask ourselves, 'What is it that we truly value? How do we repair the problem? What small sacrifices can we individually take today, to preserve a healthier and safer nation, state, and neighborhood tomorrow?' We cannot exhale once again, make excuses, and accept these tragic realities as the status quo," McConaughey wrote.

While the actor did not make a call to policymakers specifically, he stated that it is time to reevaluate and "rearrange our values and find a common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children's issue."

"This is an epidemic we can control, and whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better," McConaughey wrote in part.

McConaughey ended his message by saying that no words can comprehend or heal the loss felt by Uvalde parents, but "if prayers can provide comfort, we will keep them coming."

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