This story is part of a KXAN series of reports called “Stop Mass Shootings,” providing context and exploring solutions surrounding gun violence in the wake of the deadly Uvalde school shooting. We want our reports to be a resource for Texans, as well as for lawmakers who are convening a month after the events in Uvalde to discuss how the state should move forward. Explore all “Stop Mass Shootings” stories by clicking here.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Uvalde native Matthew McConaughey met with President Biden and other lawmakers in Washington Tuesday urging them “to speak with each other” and make legislative changes following the Texas school shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead.
McConaughey met with the families of many of the victims of the shooting, he said. The popular actor shared some of their stories during a news briefing Tuesday including the story of one young victim who wore green high-top converse with a heart drawn on the toe to remind herself how much she loved nature.
“These are the same green converse on her feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence to identify her after the shooting,” McConaughey said. He smacked the podium with his fist before continuing. “How about that?”
McConaughey said through his conversations with people in Uvalde — including responsible gun owners, border patrol and families of the victims — it’s clear that people overwhelmingly are calling for “secure and safe schools” along with “gun laws that won’t make it so easy for the bad guys to get these damn guns.”
He listed the following as solutions he wants lawmakers, including the president, to consider:
- Investing in mental health care
- Making schools safer
- Restraining sensationalized media coverage of mass shootings
- Restoring family and American values
- Background checks
- Raising the age to buy a rifle to 21
- Implementing a waiting period
- Passing ‘red flag’ laws and consequences for people who abuse them
“Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals,” he said.
Texas does not currently have a red flag law, which generally allows law enforcement or family to petition a judge to remove someone’s guns for a period of time if that person is deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.
Under Texas law, you only need to be 18 to buy a rifle and 21 to buy a handgun. You can read more about Texas gun laws here.
“We start by making the right choices on the issue that is in front of us today. We start by making laws that save innocent lives and don’t infringe on our Second Amendment rights.”