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Matthew McConaughey publishes four-point gun responsibility plan: 'Business as usual isn’t working'

''That's just how it is' cannot be an excuse. The heinous bloodshed of innocent people cannot become bearable.'

Matthew McConaughey publishes four-point gun responsibility plan: 'Business as usual isn’t working'
Cover Image Source: Matthew McConaughey attends the premiere of Illumination's 'Sing 2' on December 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

In an op-ed published Monday, Matthew McConaughey called for "gun responsibility" in the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas. The Oscar winner and self-described "father and a gun owner, the son of a kindergarten teacher," penned a four-point list in the Austin American-Statesman outlining what he believes needs to be done in terms of gun responsibility. "I believe that responsible, law-abiding Americans have a Second Amendment right, enshrined by our founders, to bear arms," he wrote. "I also believe we have a cultural obligation to take steps toward slowing down the senseless killing of our children. The debate about gun control has delivered nothing but status quo. It's time we talk about gun responsibility."


"There is a difference between control and responsibility," McConaughey continued. "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. We can do both. 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. 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." 


The 52-year-old then cited some "long-term societal factors" that need to be addressed: "Mental health care, school safety, the prevalence of sensationalized media coverage and the decaying state of American values are all long-term societal factors." McConaughey then outlined a four-step plan in his op-ed adding that although he is "not under the illusion that these policies will solve all of our problems" responsible solutions are worth it if they "can stop some of these tragedies from striking another community without destroying the Second Amendment."


The "Dallas Buyers Club" actor advocated for the following measures, which he believes have a better chance of garnering bipartisan support:

1. Background checks for all gun purchases

"Eighty-eight percent of Americans support this, including a lot of responsible gun-owning Texans. I've met them. Roof, who killed nine people in a black church in South Carolina in 2015, got his pistol without a completed background check due to a legal technicality. The system failed," McConaughey wrote. "Gun control activists call this a loophole. I call it incompetence."

2. A minimum age of 21 years old to buy an assault rifle unless the buyer is in the military

"I'm not talking about 12-gauge shotguns or lever-action hunting rifles. I'm talking about the weapon of choice for mass murderers, AR-15s. The killer in my hometown of Uvalde purchased two AR-15s for his eighteenth birthday, just days before he killed 19 students and two teachers," the star stated. "He obeyed the law. Had the law been different, perhaps I wouldn't be writing this today."

3. A nationwide adoption of so-called red flag laws

"These measures, which are already in effect in 19 states and Washington, D.C., empower loved ones or law enforcement to petition courts to temporarily prevent individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or accessing firearms," he wrote. "These laws must respect due process, judicial review, and hold account [sic] individuals who may abuse such laws."

4. A national waiting period for assault rifles

"Individuals often purchase weapons in a fit of rage, harming themselves or others. Studies show that mandatory waiting periods reduced homicides by 17 percent. Gun suicides account for the majority of U.S. gun deaths. A waiting period to purchase an assault rifle is an acceptable sacrifice for responsible gun owners when it can prevent a mass shooting crime of passion or suicide," McConaughey wrote.


The "True Detective" alum called for Republicans and Democrats to find common ground on the issue. "Business as usual isn't working. 'That's just how it is' cannot be an excuse. The heinous bloodshed of innocent people cannot become bearable. If we continue to just stand by, we're living a lie. With every right there comes a duty," he wrote. "For ourselves, our children, and our fellow Americans—we have a duty to be responsible gun owners. Please do yours and protect the Second Amendment through gun responsibility. It's time for real leaders to step up and do what's right, so we can each and all just keep livin'."

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