US-POLITICS-JEAN-PIERRE-BRIEFING

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As the world continues to grieve for the 19 children and two teachers killed at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022, the cries have only increased for the American government to promptly execute gun law reform. So the White House received a visit from one of the most notable celebs from Uvalde, Texas: actor Matthew McConaughey. He attended yesterday’s press briefing and delivered a 21-minute speech discussing how impacted he and his wife Camila were upon returning to his hometown after the events of that violent Tuesday.

McConaughey shared his own childhood experiences with guns and how he learned to respect the weapon. Then, he relayed one intimate story after another of the different victims who were shot dead at Robb Elementary. McConaughey revealed that he had met with the families of the victims in the weeks after the tragedy, and he wanted to learn more about those who were killed on a deeper level.

“The common thread, independent of the anger and the confusion and the sadness, it was the same,” he said. “How can these families continue to honor these deaths, by keeping the dreams of these children and teachers alive? How can the loss of these lives matter? So while we honor and acknowledge these victims, we need to recognize that this time, things seem different. There is a sense that there is perhaps a viable path forward.”

In the weeks since the Robb Elementary School shooting, there appears to have been an uptick in gun violence throughout the United States. It was only ten days earlier that 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron entered a Buffalo, NY supermarket, where he targeted and killed 10 Black people in what authorities claim was a “racially motivated hate crime.”

Then on June 1, a 45-year-old Oklahoman marched into a medical building in Tulsa and shot four people dead before turning the gun on himself and taking his own life. Four days after that, another gunman killed three people and injured at least eleven more on Philadelphia’s popular South Street.

In the past, McConaughey has flirted with the idea of running for the office of Texas governor. And seven months ago, the “simple kid born in the little town of Uvalde, Texas” finally confirmed it would be a direction he was “choosing not to take at this moment.”

But if yesterday’s speech was any indication of McConaughey’s feelings on his civic duty, especially in this new moment, the Texan might be compelled to reconsider. “Set an example for our children, give us reason to tell them, ‘Hey, listen and watch these men and women, these are great American leaders right here, hope you grow up to be like them,’” he pled. “Let’s admit it, we can’t truly be leaders if we’re only living for re-election.”