I am a father, the son of a kindergarten teacher, and an American. I was also born in Uvalde, Texas. — Matthew McConaughey
In a new op-ed published June 6, Matthew McConaughey, Uvalde native, says it’s time to act on gun responsibility.
Texan McConaughey believes that keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous people is the responsible thing to do, and the best way to protect the Second Amendment.
Says McConaughey, “We need to make the lost lives matter. Our leaders must make bipartisan compromises on a few reasonable measures to restore responsible gun ownership in our country,” and suggests the following measures.
- 1) All gun purchases should require a background check. Eighty-eight percent of Americans support this, including a lot of responsible gun owning Texans. … I’ve met them. 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. The system failed. Gun control activists call this a loophole. I call it incompetence.
- 2) Unless you are in the military, you should be 21 years old to purchase an assault rifle. I’m not talking about 12-gauge shotguns or lever-action hunting rifles. I’m talking about the weapon of choice for mass murderers, AR-15s. 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.
- 3) Red Flag Laws should be the law of the land. These measures, which are already in effect in 19 states and Washington, D.C., 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. These laws must respect due process, judicial review, and hold account individuals who may abuse such laws.
- 4) We need to institute a national waiting period for assault rifles. Individuals often purchase weapons in a fit of rage, 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. 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.
Business as usual isn’t working. “That’s just how it is” cannot be an excuse. The heinous bloodshed of innocent people cannot become bearable. If we continue to just stand by, we’re living a lie. With every right there comes a duty.
You can read the entire Opinion-Editorial at the Austin-American Statesman without paywall.