In a piece published by TheAustin American-Statesman, the Oscar-winning actor -- born in Uvalde, Texas -- addresses the deadly Robb Elementary School shooting that took place on May 24 and what should be done in its wake.
"I believe that responsible, law-abiding Americans have a Second Amendment right, enshrined by our founders, to bear arms," he writes in his op-ed. "I also believe we have a cultural obligation to take steps toward slowing down the senseless killing of our children. The debate about gun control has delivered nothing but status quo. It’s time we talk about gun responsibility."
Referring to gun responsibility as "a duty that will preserve" the right to keep and bear arms, McConaughey declares, "There is no constitutional barrier to gun responsibility."
"Keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous people," the father of three continues, "is not only the responsible thing to do, it is the best way to protect the Second Amendment. We can do both."
The 52-year-old actor does not mince words as he describes an "epidemic of indiscriminate mass shootings, of parents burying their children, of inaction, and buck-passing" and says acts of gun violence are "shredding the fabric of our society."
He declares, "Saving the unnecessary loss of lives is not a partisan issue."
While he acknowledges that mental health care and school safety are among the factors that need attention, right now, McConaughey urges, "we need to focus on corrections and countermeasures that can also and immediately reduce the gun violence tragedies that have become too common in our country."
The actor outlines several of his own recommendations, including requiring a background check for all gun purchases, raising the age for purchasing an assault rifle to 21 unless the person is in the military, and instating a waiting period for assault rifle purchase. McConaughey also points out there are things to be done aside from these "government-only solutions."
"Companies, private organizations, and responsible gun owners," he writes, "have a big role to play. "
"I want to be clear. 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," he notes. "This is not a choice between guns or no guns. It’s the responsible choice. It’s the reasonable choice. It’s a quintessentially American choice: Where I have the right to be me, you have the freedom to be you, and we have the responsibility to be US."
As he concludes his op-ed, McConaughey reminds readers, "With every right there comes a duty. For ourselves, our children, and our fellow Americans -- we have a duty to be responsible gun owners."