Matthew McConaughey, the actor best known for Dallas Buyers Club and a proudly “both sides” approach to politics, met with President Joe Biden at the White House today to discuss gun reform. Or as he likes to call it while continuing to raise questions about which party he’s registered to vote for, “gun responsibility.”
After his meeting with the president, the Oscar winner and Uvalde, Texas native addressed the press.
“Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals,” the True Detective star said. “These regulations are not a step back. They’re a step forward for a civil society and — and the Second Amendment.”
The regulations he was referring to are ones that he outlined in an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman on Monday: that all gun purchases should require a background check, assault rifle purchases should have a waiting period, that we should have nationwide red flag laws temporarily preventing individuals considered a threat from buying guns, and that a person should have to be 21 or older to buy an assault rifle (unless you are in the military).
While these measures would undoubtedly be a vast improvement on the legislation currently being negotiated in the Senate, it’s hard to comprehend how making sure someone is of legal drinking age would stop mass murders from happening. Let’s not forget that the deadliest shooting in this country’s history was committed by a 64-year-old man who had bought all of his assault rifles legally. I wonder what McConaughey would have to say about that.
Chances are we’ll never find out, because, as McConaughey proved at the podium — standing there with his Texas flag lapel pin and his serious thinking glasses on, refusing to call out the Republicans in his state who are violently pro-gun — he’s as rhetorically slippery and evasive as all the politicians that he swears he’s not going to become. Perhaps McConaughey hasn’t given up his dreams of running for office, after all.
“It’s time for real leaders to step up and do what’s right, so we can each and all just keep livin’,” he wrote in the Statesmen, referencing his famous line from Dazed and Confused and the namesake of his non-profit after-school fitness organization. If this trip to Washington reveals anything, it’s that McConaughey just might see himself as one of those real leaders.