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Matthew McConaughey says ‘action must be taken’ after school shooting in his hometown

On Tuesday, 19 students and two teachers were pronounced dead after a gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Matthew McConaughey is calling for an end to gun violence.

After a mass shooting in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas, yesterday left 19 students and two teachers dead, he decided to speak out on ways that Americans can try to "control" the "epidemic" of gun violence.

"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?'" he wrote, in part, in a lengthy Instagram post. "We cannot exhale once again, make excuses, and accept these tragic realities as the status quo."

McConaughey, 52, said that it's time we "re-evaluate, and renegotiate our wants from our needs" 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," he continued. "Action must be taken so that no parent has to experience what the parents in Uvalde and the others before them have endured."

McConaughey ended his statement with a note offering support and comfort to the families of the people killed.

"To those who dropped their loved ones off to school not knowing that today was goodbye, no words can comprehend or heal your loss, but if prayers can provide comfort, we will keep them coming," he said.

McConaughey isn't the only person calling for change: Celebrities took to social media to react to the shooting, and in an emotional address to the nation, President Joe Biden called for action.

"We have to act, and don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage,” Biden said. “As a nation we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?”

The shooting in Uvalde comes a few months after McConaughey announced that he was not going to run for governor of Texas after he spent some of 2021 publicly considering it.

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Matthew McConaughey in August 2019.Rick Kern / Getty Images

McConaughey told Hoda Kotb that he wasn't ready to go into politics because he was ready to start "a new chapter" in his life and he wanted to focus more on his family.

McConaughey is a proud dad to Levi, 13, Vida, 12 and Livingston, 9, whom he shares with his wife, Camila Alves.

However, McConaughey did say that he would be open to getting more involved with politics in the future.

"I'm not going to say no forever. Absolutely not," he said.