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The Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey is using the devastating school shooting that occurred in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas last month to call for more gun control laws. 

Backstory: Matthew McConaughey Addresses School Shooting In His Hometown

McConaughey Wants ‘Gun Responsibility’ 

McConaughey publicly called for “gun responsibility,” saying that in his mind, this is different than “gun control.”

“There is a difference between control and responsibility,” he wrote an op-ed for The Austin American-Statesman. “The first is a mandate that can infringe on our right; the second is a duty that will preserve it. There is no constitutional barrier to gun responsibility.”

“Keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous people is not only the responsible thing to do, it is the best way to protect the Second Amendment,” McConaughey added. “We can do both.”

McConaughey Doesn’t See This As A ‘Partisan Issue’

McConaughey went on to say that he does not feel that this is a “partisan issue.”

“Depraved acts of violence, with guns as the weapon of choice, are ripping apart families, tearing at people’s faith, and shredding the fabric of our society,” he said. “We have an epidemic of indiscriminate mass shootings, of parents burying their children, of inaction, and buck-passing. Saving the unnecessary loss of lives is not a partisan issue.”

McConaughey called for the following gun control legislation:

  • “All gun purchases should require a background check.” 
  • “Unless you are in the military you should be 21 years old to purchase an assault rifle.”
  • “Red Flag Laws should be the law of the land.”
  • “We need to institute a national waiting period for assault rifles.”

Related: Matthew McConaughey Steps Up To Help Uvalde Victims’ Families

‘It’s A Responsible Choice’

McConaughey then said that while these changes would not “solve” the gun violence issues, they are “worth it” if they help reduce the number of tragedies. 

“I want to be clear,” McConaughey wrote. “I am not under the illusion that these policies will solve all of our problems, but if responsible solutions can stop some of these tragedies from striking another community without destroying the Second Amendment, they’re worth it.”

“This is not a choice between guns or no guns,” he continued. “It’s the responsible choice. It’s the reasonable choice. It’s a quintessentially American choice: Where I have the right to be me, you have the freedom to be you, and we have the responsibility to be US.”

The actor presents his gun control recommendations as obvious steps to reduce mass shootings. But it’s not clear whether that is the case. For example, at least one study suggests that this measure would be ineffective. The results of “Homicide and Suicide Rates Associated With Implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act” suggest that waiting periods and background checks do not lead to reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates.

And, in practice, red flag laws have led to due process concerns.

Uvalde Shooting

This came after an 18-year-old gunman stormed Robb Elementary School and killed 19 fourth graders as well as their two teachers. McConaughey was born and raised in Uvalde, and his mother even worked as a kindergarten teacher in the town during his childhood, so the shooting hit particularly close to home for him.

While liberals try to politicize this tragedy by using it to call for gun control laws, we will continue to pray for the victims and their families.