As the world still reels from the latest school shooting in the U.S., which claimed the lives of at least 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school, people are reaching out on social media to offer comfort and comment on gun violence in America.
Among the countless people talking about the loss of innocent lives at Robb Elementary School on social media, Matthew McConaughey’s rang out a little louder because of his deep connection to the small town where the massacre occurred.
“As you are all aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my hometown of Uvalde, Texas,” the Oscar-winning actor tweeted to his nearly 3 million followers. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”
According to Austin’s KXAN-TV, McConaughey was born in Uvalde in 1969, where his dad worked in the oil industry and his mom was a teacher.
The Texas native used his considerable Twitter platform to speak out against our nation’s values and what we can do, as a country, to protect one another against future acts of violence like this tragedy, which is the 27th school shooting to have happened in 2022, according to a tally by Education Week, and the 212th mass shooting so far this year, according to NPR’s analysis of data from Gun Violence Archive.
“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?’ We cannot exhale once again, make excuses, and accept these tragic realities as the status quo.” McConaughey wrote.
Uvalde, Texas, USA. pic.twitter.com/0iULRGtREm
— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) May 25, 2022
As one of the most recognizable Texans in the world, McConaughey isn’t a stranger to sharing his views on gun ownership in his home state, which is known for its lax stance on gun control. During a 2018 interview with the Associated Press, discussing his participation in the March of Our Lives rally held in Austin, the actor talked about balancing responsible gun ownership and addressing the rising number of gun deaths in our country.
“It’s an epidemic in our country,” he told the AP. “I have a lot of friends in the NRA [National Rifle Association]. I grew up hunting. We had responsible gun ownership. I was taught the right way to respect that tool.”
He added he supported March For Our Lives’ call to ban assault weapons for civilians and strengthen background checks for people who want to buy and own guns.
“This is an epidemic we can control, and whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better,” he said in his May 25 tweet. “We must do better.”
“Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others before them have endured.”