Matthew McConaughey: Mental illness 'root of problem,' need gun policy reform – Business Insider

Matthew McConaughey: Mental illness 'root of problem,' need gun policy reform – Business Insider

Matthew McConaughey acknowledged that the GOP’s views on gun control “make sense” but “we need to lean into not allowing the bad guy” to have the gun in the first place.
McConaughey has become an outspoken figure for gun reform following the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed in the rampage.
The tragedy renewed calls from both sides of the political spectrum for action — with Democrats calling for stricter gun policies and Republicans zeroing in on mental illness, school safety, and the gunmen themselves.
In an interview with Fox News host Bret Baier on Tuesday, the actor said Republicans are looking at the “root of the problem” by focusing on issues like mental health and restoring family values and school safety when addressing mass shootings.
“All these things make sense,” he said. “That’s the root of the problem — the mentally ill people that are committing the crimes. We fix the people, then we’re probably not having this conversation. But we’re not gonna fix people. That’s gonna be a lifetime job after we’re here and after we’re gone.”
“I do think there’s some things that we can do to keep the guns out of the bad guy’s hands, make it harder for them to get them,” the actor added. “If they have the gun, and we find out they’re a bad guy, then we have the right to go get it from them. I think we also need to lean into not allowing the bad guy to get it before we have to catch him.”

A post shared by Bret Baier (@bretbaier)
On Monday, McConaughey wrote an op-ed for the Austin American-Statesman, outlining the gun control policies he believe could “restore responsible gun ownership in our country,” including background checks, red flag laws, raising the age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21, and instituting a national waiting period following assault rifle purchases.
“This is not a choice between guns or no guns,” he wrote. “It’s the responsible choice. It’s the reasonable choice.”
Earlier Tuesday, McConaughey also met with President Joe Biden and gave a speech at the White House press briefing, recalling his experience meeting with families of victims in the Uvalde school shooting and urging lawmakers to address gun violence in schools.
“Can both sides rise above? Can both sides see beyond the political problem at hand, and admit that we have a life preservation problem on our hands?” McConaughey said. “We’ve got a chance right now to reach for, and to grasp, a higher ground, above our political affiliations.”
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