Stars' emotional messages for stricter gun control

Matthew McConaughey delivers impassioned 21-minute speech about gun safety at White House

Stars Insider

08/06/22 | StarsInsider

CELEBRITY Laws

Gun control is a topic that divides millions of people. The right to bear arms is written into the United States constitution, but calls for revised gun laws have been made for years. It's a sensitive issue, made prevalent thanks to the issue of gun violence. Recently, President Joe Biden started to take measures for stricter gun control. "Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and it’s an international embarrassment,” the American president said. It's an issue, celebrities have been raising for quite some time now. 

In the wake of the tragic school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas, where an armed 18-year-old killed 19 children and two adults, Matthew McConaughey delivered an impassioned speech at the White House press briefing on June 7 about the victims in his hometown of Uvalde. 

In his emotional 21-minute speech, he called on Congress as both a father and a gun owner himself to act on this moment with change. "This should not be a partisan issue," McConaughey said. "There is not a democratic or republican value in one single act of these shooters, but people in power have failed to act."

McConaughey and his wife Camila visited with victims' families and heard numerous stories about the lives lost, and they realized all the families had a similar goal: "How can the loss of these lives matter?" McConaughey added, "While we honor and acknowledge the victims, we need to recognize that this time, it seems that something is different. There is the sense that perhaps there is a viable path forward [for enacting gun safety legislation]."

The actor urged Congress to take "reasonable" and "practical" steps toward protecting Americans through measures like mandating background checks for gun ownership, strengthening "red flag" laws, raising the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21, requiring a waiting period for those rifles, and investing in mental health care. "Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals," he said. "These regulations are not a step back, they're a step forward for a civil society and for the Second Amendment."

"Will you please ask yourselves: Can both sides rise above? Can both sides see beyond the political problem at hand and admit that we have a life-preservation problem on our hands?" McConaughey concluded, "We can't truly be leaders if we're only living for re-election."

The sensitive issue of gun violence affects millions around the world, and a great number of public figures have asked for stricter gun control legislation. Click on to meet the celebrities who have spoken out about gun control.

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