AUSTIN (KXAN) — Matthew McConaughey urged changes for “responsible gun ownership” in a Monday op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman. His letter follows the school shooting in Uvalde, McConaughey’s hometown that killed 19 students and two teachers.

McConaughey, who was born in Uvalde and lives in Austin, said there is a difference between gun control and gun responsibility in that there is “no constitutional barrier to 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.”

McConaughey outlined four measures that bipartisan leaders should take “to restore responsible gun ownership in our country.”

  • Requiring background checks for all gun purchases
  • Raising the age to purchase an assault rifle to 21
  • Passing Red Flag Laws
  • Instituting a national waiting period for assault rifles

“I want to be clear. 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,” he wrote in the Monday op-ed.

In the days following the shooting, McConaughey wrote on social media, “As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my hometown of Uvalde, Texas. Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.” He also visited Uvalde after the shooting.

“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.