Uvalde native Matthew McConaughey writes op-ed on gun control: ‘It’s time to act’

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for CinemaCon

On May 24, 2022, Salvador Ramos took a pair of AR platform rifles and 375 rounds of ammunition that he had bought legally after his 18th birthday and, according to a timeline compiled by the Texas Tribune from various law enforcement sources and Texas governor Greg Abbott, shot his grandmother in the face, stole her car, and drove to Uvalde, Texas’ Robb Elementary School, where he allegedly murdered 19 children and two teachers in cold blood.

The shooting has reignited an ugly and divisive political debate on gun ownership in the United States, a country which has seen over 200 mass shootings and 27 school shootings in the first half of 2022 alone. Academy Award-winning actor and Uvalde native Matthew McConaughey has waded into these tricky waters today with an editorial in the Austin American-Statesman, in which he argues that the solution to rampant gun violence in the United States is not banning guns, but rather passing a series of laws designed to encourage responsible gun ownership.

He begins his essay:

“I am a father, the son of a kindergarten teacher, and an American. I was also born in Uvalde, Texas. 

That’s why I’m writing this.

I believe that responsible, law-abiding Americans have a Second Amendment right, enshrined by our founders, to bear arms. 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.”

The actor then states:

“The need for mental health care, school safety, the prevalence of sensationalized media coverage, and the decaying state of American values are all long-term societal factors that must be addressed, but right now, we don’t have the luxury of time.”

The actor doesn’t explain how he would legally regulate “sensationalized media coverage” of school shootings, or how that would retroactively prevent crime. Nor does he explain how he would regulate “American values,” or address the studies that prove no correlative connection between general gun ownership and psychiatric disorders.

The actor did, however, proceed to lay out a 4-point series of policy proposals to encourage responsible gun ownership that would include a waiting period to purchase a gun, stricter background checks, and so-called “Red Flag laws” in which citizens could delay a gun purchase by filing a report with the state.

Matthew McConaughey won an Academy Award for Dallas Buyers Club and an Emmy for True Detective, both in 2014.