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The Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey became emotional on Tuesday as he gave a speech at the White House in which he begged Democrats and Republicans to find common ground when it comes to gun control. This came after the mass shooting in McConaughey’s hometown of Uvalde, Texas left 19 children and two teachers dead.

Backstory: Matthew McConaughey Addresses School Shooting In His Hometown

McConaughey Speaks At White House

Daily Mail reported that McConaughey was visibly tearful as he claimed that the Second Amendment was being “hijacked” by “deranged individuals,” alleging that “responsible gun owners” are “fed up.”

“We got to get some real courage and honor our mortal obligations instead of our party affiliations and enough with the counterpunching,” he said. “We can’t truly be leaders if we’re only living in for reelection.”

“We’ve got to look in the mirror, lead with humility and acknowledge the values that are inherent to but also above politics,” McConaughey continued. “We got to make choices, make stands, embrace new ideas, and preserve the traditions that can create true, true progress for the next generation.”

McConaughey went on to call on lawmakers to show “real leadership” and give Americans a “good reason to believe that the American dream is not an illusion.”

‘We Need To Restore Our American Values’

“We need to restore our family values,” he said. “We need to restore our American values. And we need responsible gun ownership.”

“This should be a nonpartisan issue,” he later added. “There is not a Democratic or Republican value in one single act of the shooters. There is not. But people in power have failed to act. We are asking you, I’m asking you, 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 became particularly emotional while talking about meeting with the families of the victims.

“My wife and I, Camila, we spent most of last week on the ground with the families in Uvalde, Texas,” he said. “We shared stories, tears, and memories, the common thread, independent of the anger and the confusion, sadness. It was the same. How can these families continue to honor these deaths by keeping the dreams of these children and teachers alive again, How can a loss of these lives matter.”

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

McConaughey Brings Victim’s Shoes Out

At one point, McConaughey pointed to his wife Camila, who was holding a pair of green Converse shoes with a heart drawn on the toe. These shoes were worn by 10-year-old Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, who was killed in the shooting, and McConaughey said that they “turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her after the shooting.”

“Maite wore these every day,” he continued. “Green converse with a heart on the right toe. These are the same green converse on her feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her at the shooting. How about that?”

McConaughey then laid out the specific reforms that he claimed he and “responsible gun owners” are ready for. 

“We need background checks,” he stated. “We need to raise the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 rifle to 21. We need a waiting period for those rifles. We need red flag laws and consequences for those who abuse them.”

McConaughey Sees ‘Path Forward’

McConaughey concluded by saying that there seems to be a “path forward” when it comes to gun reform. 

“It seems that something is different,” McConaughey said. “There is a sense that perhaps there’s a viable path forward. Responsible parties in this debate seem to at least be committed to sitting down and having a real conversation about a new and improved path forward.’

“We are in a window of opportunity right now that we have not been in before – a window where it seems like real change, real change can happen,” he concluded.

Check out McConaughey’s full speech below.

The left has been trying to politicize the Uvalde shooting ever since the news of it broke. Meanwhile, many conservatives have argued that gun control laws would not stop mass shootings such as this one. Conservatives will certainly be disappointed that McConaughey is taking the position of the left on this, as there had been hope that he could possibly run as a conservative candidate in the future. 

Given his speech at the White House, however, it does not seem like that will be happening.