Matthew McConaughey is calling for an end to the "senseless killing of our children."
The actor, whose hometown is Uvalde, Texas, previously spoke out about the Robb Elementary School shooting that left 19 children and two adults dead. In an opinion piece published by USA Today, McConaughey is now tackling the controversial topic of gun rights and gun control, suggesting "we talk about gun responsibility."
"There is a difference between control and responsibility," McConaughey 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. 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 wrote that the nation needs to focus on "corrections and countermeasures that can also and immediately reduce the gun violence tragedies that have become too common in our country."
"We need to make the lost lives matter," he continued. "Our leaders must make bipartisan compromises on a few reasonable measures to restore responsible gun ownership in our country."
McConaughey put forth several suggestions that could contribute toward preventing at least some of "these tragedies from striking another community without destroying the Second Amendment."
Among his suggested policy amendments, McConaughey wrote that he believes all gun purchases should require a background check.
"[Dylan] 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," McConaughey wrote. "The system failed. Gun control activists call this a loophole. I call it incompetence."
In his opinion piece, McConaughey also emphasized his belief that, unless a person is in the military, they should be 21 to purchase an assault rifle.
"I'm talking about the weapon of choice for mass murderers, AR-15s," he wrote. "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. He obeyed the law. Had the law been different, perhaps I wouldn't be writing this today."
McConaughey went on to state that red flag laws should "be the law of the land," saying that these measures "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."
Additionally, McConaughey called for a national waiting period for assault rifles, writing that individuals often purchased weapons "in a fit of rage," ultimately "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," McConaughey 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."
In conclusion, McConaughey wrote that Americans have a "duty to be responsible gun owners."
"Please do yours and protect the Second Amendment through gun responsibility," he pleaded. "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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