Actor Matthew McConaughey, who is from the Texas town where last month’s school massacre occurred, pleaded in an op-ed Monday for “responsible” gun legislation — to save the Second Amendment.
“I believe that responsible, law-abiding Americans have a Second Amendment right, enshrined by our founders, to bear arms,” the 52-year-old “Interstellar” star said in an article he penned in the Austin American-Statesman.
“I also believe we have a cultural obligation to take steps toward slowing down the senseless killing of our children.
“It’s time we start talk about gun responsibility,” McConaughey said. “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.”
McConaughey was born in Uvalde, the small Texas town where 19 fourth-graders and two teachers at Robb Elementary School were gunned down May 24.
The slaughter, the second-deadliest school shooting in US history, has renewed the debate over gun control.
“We need to make the lost lives matter,” McConaughey pleaded in his op-ed. “The debate about gun control has delivered nothing but status quo.
“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,” he said. “We can do both.
“Our leaders must make bipartisan compromise on a few reasonable measures to restore responsible gun ownership in our country.”
Among the measures the actor is pushing for are background checks for gun purchases and raising the age at which one can buy military-style assault rifles from 18 to 21.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law Monday preventing people under age 21 from buying semi-automatic rifles in the state.
Police said Uvalde shooter Salvador Ramos purchased two AR-15 assault rifles for his 18th birthday and used one of the weapons in the school massacre.
McConaughey said he also supports the expansion of “red flag laws,” which allow potentially dangerous individuals to be “flagged” by law enforcement. Such laws are already in effect to some degree in 19 states, including New York, and Washington, DC.
Finally, McConaughey said he supports a national waiting period to purchase assault rifles, noting that gun suicides are the leading cause of US gun deaths.
“I want to be clear,” the actor said. “I am 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.
“This is not a choice between guns and no guns,” he said. “It’s the responsible choice.”