Matthew McConaughey has issued a statement responding to news of a mass shooting at an elementary school in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas. The massacre has left at least 19 students and two adults dead, with several more being treated in local hospitals for injuries sustained during the incident.
The actor offered a response on Tuesday evening through social media, extending his prayers to those impacted by the tragedy and calling Americans to action to combat the epidemic of gun violence.
“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey’s statement begins. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”
“The true call to action now is 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?’ McConaughey continues. “We cannot exhale once again, make excuses and accept these tragic realties as the status quo.”
While McConaughey’s statement did not explicitly join the reignited wave of calls for stricter gun control legislation in the U.S., the actor calls the country’s recurring news of mass shootings “an epidemic we can control.”
“Whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better,” the statement continues. “Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others before them have endured.”
A screen actor for more than three decades, McConaughey had considered a campaign in Texas’ gubernatorial race last year before ultimately deciding against running for political office. McConaughey had never declared whether he would run for office with a particular political party or as an independent.
President Joe Biden addressed the nation on Tuesday night regarding the Uvalde, Texas shooting, saying that “there have been over 900 incidents of gunfire reported on school grounds… I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage.”