Texas actor trying to rally Congress on gun control
Matthew McConaughey told Fox News that the “extreme right and extreme left” have too much influence in America, and are blocking consensus on urgent issues like gun control.
“I think we’re being told we’re more divided than we are,” he told host Bret Baier on Tuesday, part of the actor’s Washington tour as he hopes to push lawmakers to enact new gun control rules after the mass shooting in his hometown of Uvalde.
“I think that the veil over the masses’ eyes, I think we got the numbers,” Mr McConaughey added. “We got to pull that veil off, quit drinking the Kool-Aid, because we’re hearing it from both sides, extreme right and extreme left, and they have the microphones.”
The actor, who describes himself as a centrist and a gun-owner, used the example of both him and Mr Baier being fathers.
“Now, I bet you and I can get something done, talking about being dads, giving a damn about our kids and their futures. I bet we can come to an agreement on that,” he said.
Earlier that day, the actor spoke at the White House, urging lawmakers to “make theses lives matter” and remember Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, one of the 19 students who was killed in the Uvalde massacre.
“Maite wore green, high-top Converse with a heart she had hand-drawn on the right toe because they represented her love of nature,” he said.
“These are the same green Converse on her feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her after the shooting,” he continued, describing the devastation the Uvalde gunman’s assault rifle wrought inside the classroom. “How about that?”
A bipartisan group of senators is working on a potential gun deal, the first new set of firearms restrictions in three decades, though any agreement likely won’t include the age restrictions on buying assault rifles that Mr McConaughey—as well as Uvalde victims’ families—have been calling for.
The package would reportedly include provisions about school security and mental health.
“This issue is too important not to do everything we can to find a bipartisan way forward,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday. “We’re giving [Republicans] the opportunity, the chance, to say yes — we’re ready and eager to find common ground on something that can actually help address gun violence.”
Mr McConaughey’s passionate advocacy around guns follows a period last fall where he was mulling a run for governor.
In November, he announced he wouldn’t be seeking office.
“As a simple kid born in the little town of Uvalde, Texas, it never occurred to me that I would one day be considered for political leadership,” Mr McConaughey said. “It’s a humbling and inspiring path to ponder. It is also a path that I’m choosing not to take at this moment.”
Instead, the actor has said he’s committed to “creating pathways to help people succeed in life.”