Matthew McConaughey Fights Back Tears While Speaking at the White House After Uvalde Shooting

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Matthew McConaughey visited the White House on Tuesday, where he spoke about the school shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead last month, in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas. Fighting back tears, the actor spoke with both passion and emotion as he told the stories of those lost and pleaded with lawmakers to enact meaningful gun legislation reform.

"You could feel the shock in the town. You could feel the pain, the denial, the disillusion, anger, blame, sadness, loss of lives, dreams halted," McConaughey said of the feeling present in Uvalde upon his and his family's visit to the town last week.

McConaughey said that he and his wife, Camila Alves, spent most of the past week with the families of those who were killed in his hometown. He showed pictures of their artwork, shared stories of their dreams and even brought a pair of green Converse sneakers that one little girl wore every day -- sneakers that were sadly used to identify her body after the shooting.

"Due to the exceptionally large exit wounds of an AR-15 rifle, most of the bodies so mutilated that only a DNA test or green Converse could identify them," the impassioned actor stated. "Many children were left not only dead but hollow. So, yes, counselors are going to be needed in Uvalde for a long time."

He added that counselors will be and should be present in the towns across America that have experienced the horror of a mass shooting.

McConaughey also shared the stories of those lost -- from the tragic story of Irma and Joe Garcia, one of the teachers killed and her husband, who died of a heart attack following the shooting, to Alithia Ramirez and more -- and what the students' parents asked him and his wife to share as he made his public plea to politicians and the nation.

Mathew McConaughey

"You know what every one of these parents wanted, what they asked us for? What every parent separately expressed in their own way to Camila and me? That they want their children's dreams to live on," McConaughey said. "That they want their children's dreams to continue, to accomplish something after they are gone. They want to make their loss of life matter."

The 52-year-old Dallas Buyers Club star also took the opportunity to push for more action on gun control, calling for universal background checks, raising the minimum age for purchasing an AR-15 to 21, a waiting period for purchasing AR-15s and the implementation of red flag laws.

"These are reasonable, practical, tactical regulations to our nation, states, communities, schools and homes. Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals. These regulations are not a step back -- they're a step forward for a civil society and, and the Second Amendment," he shared.

He also called on Americans to look at themselves in the mirror and use the moment to reasses their values and rebrand this country based on "what we truly are."

"We got to take a sober, humble, and honest look in the mirror and rebrand ourselves based on what we truly value. We got to get some real courage and honor our immortal obligations instead of our party affiliations," the Academy Award winner, who met briefly with President Joe Biden before appearing at the podium, said.

He continued, "Enough with the counterpunching. Enough of the invalidation of the other side. Let's come to the common table that represents the American people. Find a middle ground, the place where most of us Americans live anyway. Especially on this issue. Because I promise you, America, you and me, we are not as divided as we are being told we are."

McConaughey's trip to the White House comes just one day after The Austin American-Statesman published an op-ed written by the actor, in which he addressed the deadly Robb Elementary School shooting that took place on May 24 and what should be done in its wake. 

"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 stressed in the piece. "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 mentioned in his speech Tuesday, McConaughey and his family -- his wife, their children, Levi, 13, Vida, 12, Livingston, 9 and his brother, Rooster -- visited his hometown last week and paid respect to all the lives lost.

In photos shared to Twitter, McConaughey and his loved ones were seen visiting the memorial site at Robb Elementary. In one shot, he and his family are seen holding hands and bowing their heads as they stand in front of a tree filled with flowers, cards and candles, left behind for the 19 children and two teachers shot and killed in the tragic shooting.

Another snap saw McConaughey taking a photo of a larger memorial, which had the names of the victims painted onto individual crosses. He also made a visit to the Uvalde Civic Center, where he was accompanied by Rep. Tony Gonzales.

McConaughey and Alves have also since announced the launch of the just keep livin Foundation's Uvalde Relief Fund. Donations to the fund will support immediate and long-term needs of the community, including burial costs. 


Matthew McConaughey Pens Op-Ed After Shooting in Texas Hometown

Matthew McConaughey Announce Relief Fund for Uvalde Community

Matthew McConaughey and His Family Pay Respect to Shooting Victims

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