UVALDE, Texas (KXAN) – Nineteen students and two adults were killed in shooting at a Texas elementary school Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
It happened in the city of Uvalde, 85 miles west of San Antonio. The small city is also known as the birthplace of actor Matthew McConaughey.
“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” the actor wrote on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”
The Oscar-winning actor was born in Uvalde in 1969. McConaughey’s mom was a teacher, and his dad worked in the Texas oil industry. The family spent McConaughey’s early childhood in the city before moving to Longview.
McConaughey’s ties to Texas have remained strong throughout his career. He even considered a run for governor before ultimately deciding against a bid.
“As a simple kid born in the little town of Uvalde, Texas, it never occurred to me that I would one day be considered for political leadership,” McConaughey said in 2021 video, when announcing his decision not to run.
But even amid early hints that McConaughey might seek office, voters questioned his stance on hot-button issues like guns. He’s now calling for more action.
“As Americans, Texans, mothers and fathers, it’s time we re-evaluate, and renegotiate our wants from our needs. We have to rearrange our values and find a common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children’s issue,” he wrote.
“This is an epidemic we can control, and whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better. We must do better,” McConaughey wrote. “Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others before them have endured.”
He’s also asking for more soul-searching from every American.
“What is it that we truly value? How do we repair the problem? What small sacrifices can we individually take today, to preserve a healthier and safer nation, state, and neighborhood tomorrow?” McConaughey wrote.
The Texas native is calling on both sides of the aisle to come together to make a change. In the past, he has never suggested guns be taken away. He did acknowledged a gun violence problem during a “March For Our Lives” rally. The event was held outside the state capitol in 2018.
McConaughey told the crowd about his time hunting in Texas and learning about properly operating a firearm. But he has opposed assault rifles, and called for strengthening background checks.
“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.
Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday investigators will look into what specific weapons were used in the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, and the legal authority the shooter had to possess those weapons.