Matthew McConaughey has been open about his love of words. Just this year he wanted to take the word “unbelievable” and “wipe it from the dictionary.” But he has also been very purposeful with the words he uses when talking about the increase in gun-related violence and school shootings.
After a school shooting in the actor’s hometown of Uvalde earlier this year, McConaughey has been dedicating his time to advocating for the families of the victims and even held a press conference at the White House in order to raise awareness. While pleading with elected officials and Texas residents, McConaughey has been actively pushing for “gun responsibility” as opposed to “gun control,” which he explained to People:
It became very clear to me early on, as a lover of words, that to the right, so-called staunch Second Amendmenters — these are my people in the South, I know them well — “control” is a dirty word. It’s like a mandate. Whoa, whoa, whoa, don’t you tell me what to do, I got my right to bear arms. So that word, out of the gate, is shutting about 80 percent of their ears. . . . I flipped it to “responsibility.” Responsibility is to give the person the power of choice. It’s forward-moving. It’s affirmative. I’m responsible. Don’t tell me I ain’t responsible.
Despite the alarming number of shootings this year alone, the actor believes that the country can evolve as long as people are willing to listen to each other. “I think there’s incremental changes, there’s breakthroughs,” he added. “I do believe that with time, inevitably we can improve, we can ascend, we can evolve as people.”