"As all of you are aware, there was another mass shooting today, this time in my hometown of Uvalde, Texas. Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us," McConaughey began in a lengthy, heartfelt statement.
He continued, "The true call to action is now 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 not only called upon Americans, but his fellow Texans, mothers and fathers, to find a common ground.
"As Americans, Texans, mothers and fathers, it's time we re-evaluate, and renegotiate our wants from our needs," McConaughey insisted. "We have to rearrange our values and find a common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children's issue."
Calling the shooting part of a larger epidemic, the Dallas Buyer's Club actor said it's one we can control.
"This is an epidemic we can control, and whichever side of the aisle we stand on, we all know we can do better. We must do better," he maintained. "Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others before them have endured."
"And to those who dropped off their loved ones today not knowing it was goodbye, no words can comprehend or heal your loss, but if prayers can provide comfort, we will keep them coming," McConaughey added in conclusion.
On Tuesday, a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School, killing at least 19 students and two teachers, according to the latest police reports.
The Oscar-winning movie star was born near Uvalde, where he spent the first 16 years of his life. He returned to the town in 2020 for the centennial celebration of the Uvalde Area Chamber of Commerce and brought his mother and brother for an hour-long conversation event.
“So many successful people came and learned and left this town and went out and kicked ass,” Matthew’s brother Rooster said at the time. “This town is giving to the people that live here.”
McConaughey’s mother, Kay, was a kindergarten teacher at St. Philip’s Episcopal School, where Matthew also attended. The school is four minutes down the road from the Robb Elementary School where the shooting occurred on Tuesday.
At the centennial event, both Kay’s sons emphasized how good of a teacher she was, even as they teased her for never having her teaching certification. The men spoke fondly of her willingness to abandon her curriculum in favor of more enriching experiences.
“Uvalde was the most perfect place to raise children,” Kay said in 2020. The whole family spent their time marveling at the warmth shared by the people of their former home. Matthew also shared his fond memories of the Frio River, which runs just East of Uvalde, where he and his wife, Camila Alves, brought their firstborn, Levi, when he was only a few months old. Rooster also recalled his adventures on the Nueces river -- he returned to it for his honeymoon almost two decades ago.
Matthew told the crowd that night that he was working on a book that would include stories of his Uvalde childhood. He was eager to share his love for his home and family.