Matthew McConaughey has issued a heart-felt statement after a school shooting in his home town left 19 children and two adults dead.
McConaughey spent the first 12 years of his life in Uvalde in Texas, where a devastating school massacre took place yesterday (24 May).
In a lengthy post on social media, McConaughey said this was ‘an epidemic we can control’ and urged those on both sides of the gun control argument to ‘do better’.
He wrote: “As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas. Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.
“The true call to action now 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 neighborhood tomorrow?
"We cannot exhale once again, make excuses, and accept these tragic realities as the status quo. As Americans, Texans, mothers and fathers, it's time we re-evaluate, and renegotiate our wants from our needs.
"We have to rearrange our values and find a common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children's issue.
“This is an epidemic we can control, and whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better. We must do better. Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others before them have endured.
“And to those who dropped off their loved ones today not knowing it was goodbye, no words can comprehend or heal your loss, but if prayers can provide comfort, we will keep them coming.”
Officials in Texas have said 18-year-old Salvador Ramos opened fire at Robb Elementary School, killing 19 children and two adults, before he was shot dead by police.
The teen was armed with a handgun, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines, officials have said.
In the wake of the devastating incident, US president Joe Biden has urged Americans to stand up to the gun lobby.
Giving an address he said: “When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?. Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen?
“It is time to turn this pain to the action, for every parent, every citizen of this country. We have to make it clear to every elected official in this country: it’s time to act. It’s time for those who obstruct or delay or blocked the common sense gun laws – we need to let you know that we will not forget.”
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677