Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey believes Second Amendment enthusiasts can be swayed towards gun control by billing it as “gun responsibility.”
McConaughey sat down with Jonathan Karl for an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” to discuss his new Green Lights Grant Initiative, which he and his wife Camila launched to help schools secure federal grant money for safety and security, following the 2022 Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting.
The “Interstellar” star and Uvalde native became the celebrity spokesperson for the families of the 19 children and two teachers killed during the tragedy.
“My wife was out of the country,” McConaughey told Karl. “She heard about the news, immediately writes me and says, ‘We got to go down there.’ She cut her trip short, flew in. We packed up and headed out.”
EXCLUSIVE: @jonkarl sits down with actor Matthew McConaughey for a wide-ranging conversation about guns and his new initiative for school safety after the deadly 2022 shooting in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas. https://t.co/ScQIWDMJrJ pic.twitter.com/LImBEmeGNA
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 30, 2023
They met with Republican Rep. Tony Gonzales and in turn were introduced to the victim’s families.
“We had families invite us in to come for the first viewing of their child. And that, to us, felt like we were trespassing,” he remarked.
“But the mother and father go, ‘No, please come in.’ And when we left there, the consensus was, ‘Can you help make their lives matter?’ So that led to us ending up in D.C.”
Powerful clip of Matthew McConaughey’s call for action in his speech at White House for new gun control legislation following school shooting in his hometown Uvalde, Tx pic.twitter.com/Hdxe9spvIB
— 🤘🏽✨ THRILL WILL ✨🤘🏽 (@thrillwillent) June 26, 2022
That led him to give a powerful speech at the White House, where he urged both sides of the aisle to find common ground to reduce gun violence.
Karl noted that during his address, McConaughey said that “the middle ground is where most Americans are” on gun violence, but that “nothing gets done” in Congress, and asked how the actor was able to speak to gun owners.
“It was just one word I went in there and flipped [that] seemed to get those hard second amendment defenders ears to at least listen,” he insisted. “And that was — I changed the word from ‘control’ to ‘responsibility.’”
Karl sniped that gun owners “hate the word control,” and the actor snapped back: “Well control sounds like a mandate and nobody wants a mandate. No one wants to be controlled.”
“But responsibility is still something that we can all go, yeah, ‘I’ll take responsibility’, and a lot of the far-right or the Republicans, they almost feel like responsibility is a value that they have ownership of and it’s a sense of almost pride and honor to be responsible.”
McConaughey noted that when the “narrative got changed,” he noticed that lawmakers were able to come together and have more conversations in the two days he was in Washington, D.C.
“Because the Second Amendment defenders can talk responsibility,” he added. “They can look you in the eye and talk responsibility with someone from the other side of aisle.”
Karl pointed out that an overwhelming amount of Americans are in favor of universal background checks, national red flag laws, along with raising the age for purchase of assault rifles and a longer waiting period for their purchase.
“Yet none of those things have been done,” Karl stated. “That math should add up. And right now, it doesn’t,” McConaughey replied.
Karl asked the Texas native if he had any advice for how Democrats should speak to those in favor of Second Amendment rights.
“Quit patronizing,” he shot back. “There’s a whole lot of Americans that need you to at least meet them where they are and what they’re understanding and how they’ve grown up on this issue with guns in their lives and how they, most of them, do handle them responsibly.”
McConaughey thinks liberal lawmakers should try opening their ears and anticipating the need to meet gun owners halfway.
“Don’t cast them down as being archaic or cavemen and women,” he continued. “Listen to them for a minute. And when you’re coming in hot, which sometimes the left does, on this issue and many others.”
McConaughey said that the left’s tendency to immediately name call and insult gun owners values is instantly alienating.
“twiYou’ve lost them [and] they get more defensive. So come in and meet them where they are, and try to hear where they’re coming from first,” he concluded.
“And understand that they have a bible stance, a bible position they’re taking that they didn’t come in last night.”