Unlike the visceral reactions so often presented by Hollywood elites in the wake of any event, and especially tragedies like the Texas school shooting Tuesday, one celebrity offered up a measured and seemingly bipartisan statement seeking unity where even President Joe Biden had sowed division.
An 18-year-old suspect walked into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas Tuesday where he opened fire killing at least 19 children and two teachers before dying himself in a shootout with a Border Patrol agent at the scene. The reprehensible act of evil committed in his hometown was too much for Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey to remain silent.
Born and raised in Uvalde, the actor who has flirted with runs for political office in the past, began with his summary of the massacre writing, “Once again we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”
Uvalde, Texas, USA. pic.twitter.com/0iULRGtREm
— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) May 25, 2022
Pushing for concerted introspection over the standard impulsive, knee-jerk hot take, he asked his fellow Americans to seriously consider, “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?”
Not only was McConaughey raised in Uvalde but, as Entertainment Tonight reported, his mother Kay was a kindergarten teacher at St. Philip’s Episcopal School where he was educated mere minutes away from Tuesday’s tragedy. In 2020 when the McConaughey family had attended the centennial celebration of the Uvalde Area Chamber of Commerce, Kay said, “Uvalde was the most perfect place to raise children.”
“As Americans, Texans, mothers and fathers, it’s time we re-evaluate, and renegotiate our wants from our needs,” his statement continued. “We have to rearrange our values and find a common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children’s issue.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 29, 2021
These sentiments are consistent with McConaughey’s past remarks when he announced that, after consideration, he would not run for governor of Texas at that time even though polls showed him with a favorable advantage over both incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Democratic hopeful Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke.
While seeking the “answer to the question of how I can be most useful in this life going forward,” he surmised, “I’ve learned that freedom comes with responsibility, and that great leaders serve…Service is taking on responsibility today, so we can have more freedom tomorrow. Service is making the better choice for you and me.”
McConaughey continued by asserting, “This is an epidemic we can control, and whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better. 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.”
Though the actor has postured to the left while claiming to support the Second Amendment by speaking at the March for Our Lives rally in 2018 calling for “assault weapons” bans, magazine capacity restrictions, and stricter background checks, his instinct countered Biden’s who jumped at the chance to demonize the gun lobby.
In closing, he offered up his heartfelt prayers to those impacted by the atrocity committed by the suspect, “And to those who dropped off their loved ones today not knowing it was goodbye, no words can comprehend or heal your loss, but if prayers can provide comfort, we will keep them coming.”
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