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Claytoonz: McConaughey is 'alright' with his challenge to respond to Uvalde massacre

Actor and Uvalde native Matthew McConaughey gave a passionate speech from the White House press room yesterday asking, “How can we make the loss of these lives matter?”.

McConaughey invoked the lives of the 19 children and two teachers murdered by a mass shooter two weeks ago in the town where he was born and where his mother was a school teacher. He described visiting Uvalde, “You could feel the pain, the denial, the disillusion, anger, blame, sadness, loss of lives, dreams halted.”

The Oscar-winning actor was in Washington to talk to President Joe Biden and other lawmakers about stricter gun laws. Something the GOP clearly doesn’t even want to talk about. Last week, one Republican announced he would not run for reelection because of the backlash from his own party over his support for gun control. How dare he.

McConaughey said, “We can’t truly be leaders if we are only living for reelection.” He will now face backlash from Republicans and the NRA.

McConaughey and his wife, Camila Alves McConaughey, displayed a pair of green Converse high tops that were worn by ten-year-old Maite Rodriguez, one of the victims of the Uvalde massacre. She had drawn a heart on the right shoe over her toes. McConaughey said, “These are the same green Converse on her feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her after the shooting.”

I’ve never been a fan of Matthew McConaughey. He’s a very likable guy but I always felt like he wasn’t acting. To me, he has always seemed to play the same character, himself. I think he did that yesterday. Yes, it was powerful and it was a presentation, but he wasn’t acting. What he said came straight from the heart.

Shortly after his speech, I saw memes made by goons trying to discredit him. They can’t take down his message so the only thing they had to destroy was him. There were the usual complaints of a movie star telling us how to live. There were memes taken from McConaughey’s movies where he’s pictured with a gun as if that makes him a hypocrite. It doesn’t.

Actors can give us their viewpoints. What makes you think our elected officials are more qualified? Have you seen the caliber of our elected officials? Have you heard the shit that comes out of the mouths of the likes of Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Ted Cruz, or Marjorie Taylor Greene? I mean, if freedom means we can have any gun we want then it also means an actor can express his opinion publicly. Unlike Senator Tommy Tuberville, I bet Matthew McConaughey knows the three branches of government are NOT the House, Senate, and presidency. Maybe next time McConaughey comes to town, he can tell us how to lose a senator in ten days.

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And McConaughey isn’t a hypocrite for playing a guy with a gun in a movie and being in favor of gun control. Anthony Hopkins probably isn’t in favor of cannibalism either. It’s called acting. Actors play characters. But the people calling McConaughey a hypocrite didn’t listen to his speech or they’re liars. He’s not for eradicating all guns. He’s a gun owner. Life is too complex for conservatives to understand. A gun owner can be in favor of gun control. You can own a car and believe drivers should be licensed and that cars should have tags, seatbelts, windshields, etc.

I don’t think I’ll ever be a huge fan of Matthew McConaughey as an actor or of his movies, although The Gentleman is kinda epic (I may have to rethink my position). But I like the man and I like where his heart is. He has principles and he’s using his star power to make a difference. Yesterday, his press conference was carried live by CNN, MSNBC, and…this one really surprised me, Fox News.

Quite frankly, I think that’s alright alright alright.

Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning, and won a 2021 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at Claytoonz.com.

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