“To make the loss of these lives count…”
It was the mission statement that Matthew McConaughey opened on Tuesday when he showed up at the White House press briefing room to deliver a 20-minute speech chronicling the 19 children and two teachers who were killed. during the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas on May 24. He called for more restrictive gun laws that could have prevented the sale of the murder weapon, an AR-15 assault rifle, to the 18-year-old attacker. The remarks drew praise on Twitter, but were also immediately condemned by right-wing media, including a Newsmax reporter sitting in the newsroom. You can watch the full speech below.
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McConaughey is from Uvalde himself, and he spoke of the small Texas town where he learned many of the values he carried with him throughout his life, including responsible gun ownership. fire. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre introduced the actor as a gun owner himself, to establish that the changes demanded by the Biden administration are not at odds with the 2nd Amendment, but common-sense restrictions designed to keep military-grade firearms from falling into the wrong hands.
The actor’s comments resonated strongly on social media, where the speech trended on Twitter for several hours after its conclusion. Some have questioned whether images of the slain children should be shown to the public to catalyze public will to institute further restrictions on gun ownership, and although he did not show any images, some of the details he shared aimed for a similar result. He drew attention to his wife, Brazilian model Camila Alves, who held in her lap a pair of green Converse sneakers worn by 10-year-old victim Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, whose injuries were so severe that the only way to identify was by these sneakers.
McConaughey and Alves spent much of the past week in Uvalde, meeting with families of victims, and he shared stories of their time learning about those who had been lost. He said when news of the shooting broke he was on set, but he and Alves felt compelled to load up their truck and drive to Uvalde to share the grief. His remarks at the White House were filled with genuine emotion, with the actor repeatedly choking and needing a break to collect himself.
“We also met a cosmetologist, she was well versed in funeral makeup,” McConaughey said. “It’s the job of making the victims appear as peaceful and natural as possible for their open-air viewings. These bodies were very different. They needed a lot more than makeup to look presentable. They needed a major makeover. Why?Due to unusually large exit wounds from an AR-15 rifle.Most of the bodies were so mutilated that only DNA testing or green Converse could identify them.Many children were left not only dead but hollow.
“We have heard from so many people. Families of the deceased, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, Texas Rangers, Hunters, Border Patrol and responsible gun owners who will not give up their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, and you know what they all said? “We want safe and secure schools and we want gun laws that won’t make it so easy for these bad guys to get these fucking guns.” So we know it’s on the table… We need responsible gun ownership. We need background checks. We need to raise the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 rifle to 21. We need a waiting period for the purchase of this rifle. We need red flag laws… Responsible gun owners are tired of the 2nd Amendment being abused and misused by deranged individuals. These regulations are not a step backward, they are a step forward for a civil society and for the 2nd Amendment.
As McConaughey left the briefing room, however, Newsmax reporter James Rosen asked, “Were you showing up earlier, sir? Newsmax is a right-wing cable news channel and website known for its strong support of former President Donald Trump, and it’s consistent with their track record that its reporters would resist any so-called politicization of a shooting tragedy. massive.
Watch the speech in its entirety:
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