Matthew McConaughey is taking a stand against gun violence.
The actor, 48, gave an impassioned speech about the importance of gun regulation at the March for Our Lives protest in Austin, Texas on Saturday.
“I’m here for many reasons today. One of them is because I’m an American citizen, another of them is that I’m a lifelong and proud Texan,” he began. “Third one is that I do believe in what the March for Our Lives is trying to do here. I believe in the hallmarks of what they are trying to do here. But most importantly, I’m here because I’m a husband and I’m a father.”
While the Texan-native stressed that he is not suggesting guns be taken away from law-abiding citizens, he did acknowledge the “epidemic” happening around the country.
“I’m not here to talk about politics. I’m not a politician. Now like many of you from the south and many of us here in Austin, Texas and all around our great state, we grew up hunting. We killed a deer, eaten venison, we proudly mounted the horns on our walls,” he said. “But I want to be clear that today’s march is not about taking away the rights of the law-abiding American citizens to buy own and bear arms. Let’s be clear about that.”
He added: “At the same time let’s admit that we have an epidemic in our country right now that we need to fix. And those of us who are legal and responsible American citizen gun owners, it’s time to join hands. It’s time to get into the arena it’s time to step up to the line and help heal our country.”
McConaughey called for banning assault weapons for civilians and closing loopholes in the current background check system.
“One, let’s ban the assault weapons for civilians. This is a no-brainer. And to my friends out there that are responsible owners of these recreational assault weapons that they use for recreation, please let’s just take one for the team here and set it down. That issue saves lives,” he said. “Number two, let’s restrict the capacity of the magazines. Look here: in the state of Texas, we have a three shell limit to hunt migratory birds. Do the math. You get my point.”
“The third one,” he continued. “Let’s better regulate the background checks that are already in place and close the loopholes that exist in those background checks.”
And of course, the actor couldn’t help but include his signature line his speech.
“Now, those are the three main stipulations and for those three I can say it, you can say it with me: alright, alright, alright.”
McConaughey concluded his speech with a reminder that the issue of gun regulation affects everyone — not just gun owners.
“This is an American issue. It’s a Texan issue. It’s a legal and law-abiding gun owner issue. It’s a mother issue. It’s a father issue. And, quite literally, this is our children’s issue,” he said. “My hope here is that we can find a common ground on what I see as a very much a commonsense issue. This is an issue anchored in purpose for all of us. It’s not anchored in politics it’s anchored in purpose.”
“God bless and just keep living.”
The demonstration in Austin was one of the hundreds of “sibling marches” inspired by the March for Our Lives protest in Washington, DC., which was put together by some of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — where 17 people were killed by a mass shooter on Feb. 14.
According to the rally’s website, the current generation of students has grown up practicing drills and lockdowns at school while repeatedly watching mass shootings play out in other cities and states — a pattern of violence unique to America.
“March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar,” read the event’s mission statement, in part. “In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March For Our Lives believes the time is now.”
Celebrity attendees at protests across the country included Jim Carrey, Lady Gaga, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kim Kardashian West, Liev Schreiber and Paul McCartney, who remembered “one of my best friends” and Beatles bandmate John Lennon just blocks from where he was shot and killed 37 years ago.