WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — As actor Matthew McConaughey spoke about gun safety and responsibility at the White House on Tuesday, his wife sat with a pair of green high-top Converse in her lap. A heart marked the right toe of the shoes, which McConaughey said 10-year-old Maite Yuleana Rodriguez drew herself to show her passion for the environment.
McConaughey also said these Converse helped officials identify the young girl's body following the school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
McConaughey told Maite's story, as well as several others', during his time at Capitol Hill Tuesday. The visit came after the actor wrote an op-ed about gun responsibility for the Austin American-Statesman on Monday.
The actor said the nation needs to invest in mental health care and enforce background checks, red flag laws, waiting periods and a minimum age of 21 for purchasing AR-15 rifles.
"Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals," McConaughey said. "These regulations are not a step back. They're a step forward for civil society and the Second Amendment."
McConaughey also urged lawmakers to put aside their political affiliations to address what he said should be a nonpartisan issue.
"We start by making laws that save innocent lives and don't infringe on our Second Amendment rights," McConaughey said. "We start right now by voting to pass policies that can keep us from having as many Columbines, Sandy Hooks, Parklands, Las Vegases, Buffalos and Uvaldes from here on."
Watch McConaughey's full speech below:
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