On Tuesday (24 May), an 18-year-old gunman named Salvador Ramos opened fire at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Officials said that Ramos entered the school with a handgun and a rifle.
The actor returned to his hometown on Friday (27 May) to console the community where he spent the first 12 years of his life.
The 52-year-old – whose mother Kay was a teacher at St Philip’s Episcopal School in Uvalde – visited staff in the city’s school district, and was photographed with them inside their building.
Although the True Detective star did not address the press during his visit, he was accompanied by Republican Representative Tony Gonzalez who thanked McConaughey for coming.
Gonzalez tweeted: “Thank you Matthew for helping to heal our community. Your visit brought so many smiling faces to Uvalde. See you soon my friend.”
After the shooting, a 2021 tweet in which Gonzales boasted about voting against the bills aimed at strengthening reviews and background checks for firearm purchases was widely shared on social media.
“I am a proud supporter of the Second Amendment and will do everything I can to oppose gun grabs from the far Left,” the politician wrote on Twitter at the time.
Thank you Matthew for helping to heal our community. Your visit brought so many smiling faces to Uvalde. See you soon my friend.https://t.co/2BThrzx3hp
— Tony Gonzales (@TonyGonzales4TX) May 28, 2022
In the wake of the massacre, McConaughey said that Americans needed to find “common ground” in “an epidemic we can control”.
He highlighted how important it is for “every American to take a longer and deeper look in the mirror, and ask ourselves, ‘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 neighbourhood tomorrow?’”
The Interstellar star then pleaded for US citizens to “renegotiate our wants from our needs”.
Other celebrities who shared their grief about the incident are Taylor Swift, Chris Evans, rapper Offset, Elizabeth Banks, and Jimmy Kimmel among others.