Matthew McConaughey, a native of Uvalde, Texas, who has advocated for gun reform, was on Capitol Hill Monday to lobby lawmakers
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Matthew McConaughey, a native of Uvalde, Texas, who has advocated for gun reform, had dinner with Senator Joe Manchin on Monday night after spending the day lobbying lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The actor was spotted walking the halls of the Capitol building but declined to talk to reporters about his visit. 

In the aftermath of the shooting at the elementary school in Ulvade, where 21 people died, McConaughey called for ‘gun responsibility’ but not ‘control.’ He visited his home town to meet with the families of the victims.

And he spoke about gun reform to Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, who tweeted photos and details from his sit-down with the actor.

‘Had the chance to meet Uvalde native @McConaughey in DC today to discuss the horrific mass shooting at Robb Elementary as well as the larger problem of gun violence in America. We, like so many others, agree that gun safety reform is needed—I’ll keep working to make that happen,’ the senator from Illinois wrote.

McConaughey and his wife Camila were also spotted having dinner wth Manchin and his fellow Senators Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, and Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, at the fancy Italian restaurant Fiola Mare.

Matthew McConaughey, a native of Uvalde, Texas, who has advocated for gun reform, was on Capitol Hill Monday to lobby lawmakers

Matthew McConaughey, a native of Uvalde, Texas, who has advocated for gun reform, was on Capitol Hill Monday to lobby lawmakers

Matthew McConaughey met with Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of lllinois (above, center left) to talk about gun reform legislation

Matthew McConaughey met with Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of lllinois (above, center left) to talk about gun reform legislation

Matthew McConaughey also had dinner with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on Monday night

Matthew McConaughey also had dinner with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on Monday night

Reporters spotted McConaughey in the halls of the Capitol but the actor declined to discuss his visit

Reporters spotted McConaughey in the halls of the Capitol but the actor declined to discuss his visit

The actor’s visit to the Capitol came as lawmakers are working on a bill that could garner the necessary 60 votes in the Senate to advance through the legislative process.

Sens. John Cornyn, Republican of Texas; Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut;  and Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona, met for about two hours Monday night to discuss a path forward.

Cornyn is leading efforts for Republicans and Murphy for the Democrats.  

‘My hope is that we are able to come to an agreement by the end of the week,’ Murphy said. ‘The discussions have been really positive. I still am hopeful we’ll be able to get a product.’

Any legislation would need buy-in from Manchin and Sinema, the more moderate Democrats, plus at least 10 Republicans in order to make its way through the legislative process. 

‘What I’m interested in is keeping guns out of the hands of those who, by current law, are not supposed to have them: people with mental health problems, people who have criminal records,’ Cornyn said of the talks.

The lawmakers are looking at legislation that would reform background checks, encourage state red flag laws, enhance school safety and provide new mental health programs, Politico reported.

Meanwhile, McConaughey called for changes in the way people can buy weapons across the United States following the massacre in Uvalde last month.

He said the nation has a ‘cultural obligation’ to work towards ‘slowing down the senseless killing of our children’.

He suggested a national red flag system, background checks, raising the age someone can buy an assault rifle to 21 and a waiting time before buying them.

But the 52-year-old, who weighed up running for Texas governor last year, warned any changes cannot threaten the 2nd Amendment rights of citizens.

It comes after 19 children and two teachers were gunned down by 18-year-old Salvador Ramos at Robb Elementary School in McConaughey’s hometown.

It sparked renewed debate over whether gun laws should be tightened to stop youngsters getting their hands on certain weapons.

But since then there has been a spate of vicious shootings, including in Oklahoma, Tennessee and Pennsylvania over the weekend.

McConaughey speaking at a March For Our Lives rally in Dallas in 2018 after the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida

McConaughey speaking at a March For Our Lives rally in Dallas in 2018 after the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida

Students escape through a window of Robb Elementary School after the mass shooting on May 24

Students escape through a window of Robb Elementary School after the mass shooting on May 24

McConaughey published this op-ed in the Austin American Statesman on Monday, arguing that 'gun responsibility' was the best way to protect the 2nd Amendment

McConaughey published this op-ed in the Austin American Statesman on Monday, arguing that ‘gun responsibility’ was the best way to protect the 2nd Amendment

‘I am a father, the son of a kindergarten teacher, and an American. I was also born in Uvalde, Texas,’ McConaughey begins in the piece published in Austin American Statesman on Monday, ‘That’s why I’m writing this.’

‘I believe that responsible, law-abiding Americans have a Second Amendment right, enshrined by our founders, to bear arms.’ 

‘I also believe we have a cultural obligation to take steps toward slowing down the senseless killing of our children.’

McConaughey states that debates about ‘gun control’ have led nowhere but ‘the status-quo,’ and argues that the debate should be shifted towards ‘gun responsibility.’

‘There is a difference between control and responsibility,’ he wrote, ‘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.

McConaughey as a boy in Texas. He was born in Uvalde, Texas, where the mass shooting took place

McConaughey as a boy in Texas. He was born in Uvalde, Texas, where the mass shooting took place

McConaughey visiting the Robb Elementary School on May 27 in the days after the mass shooting

McConaughey visiting the Robb Elementary School on May 27 in the days after the mass shooting

McConaughey visiting Uvalde, Texas, on May 27, days after the mass shooting. He has set up a relief fund to help victims of the shooting

McConaughey visiting Uvalde, Texas, on May 27, days after the mass shooting. He has set up a relief fund to help victims of the shooting

‘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.’

McConaughey argued that background checks should be required for all gun sales, that the buying age should be increased to 21 years-old, and that there should be a national red flag system that would allow loved-ones and law enforcement to petition courts to bar individuals from buying guns for a certain period.

 He also wrote that there should be a waiting period for purchasing assault rifles, arguing that those who commit atrocities with such weapons often buy them in ‘fits of rage.’  

‘Individuals often purchase weapons in a fit of rage, harming themselves or others. Studies show that mandatory waiting periods reduced homicides by 17 percent, he wrote, ‘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 (second from right) holding hands with mourners during a visit to Robb Elementary School on June3

McConaughey (second from right) holding hands with mourners during a visit to Robb Elementary School on June3

An officer outside the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. A memorial is spread across the sign to the school

An officer outside the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. A memorial is spread across the sign to the school

Mourners paying respects and reflecting at memorial outside the Robb Elementary School on June 1

Mourners paying respects and reflecting at memorial outside the Robb Elementary School on June 1

McConaughey, who was born in Uvalde, visited the school where the 18-year-old gunman, Salvador Ramos, murdered 19 children and two teachers with an assault rifle days after the May 24 shooting. 

At the beginning of June, McConaughey and his wife, Camila, launched a Uvalde Relief fund as a part of their Just Keep Livin Foundation. 

The op-ed about gun rights isn’t the actor’s first foray into politics, as last year he considered making a run for Texas governor before ultimately deciding against it.  

‘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,’ McConaughey said last fall, ‘It’s a humbling and inspiring path to ponder. It is also a path that I am choosing not to take at this moment.’ 

A statement McConaughey released on Instagram, reflecting on the mass shooting that took place in his hometown

A statement McConaughey released on Instagram, reflecting on the mass shooting that took place in his hometown

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