“It is in the nature of our business that we look at things through the prism of politics and effectiveness and things like that,” Stanage said. “But the emotion of Matthew McConaughey’s appearance was so striking.”
McConaughey is a native of Uvalde, Texas, where two weeks ago, 19 students and two teachers were shot and killed by an 18-year-old who opened fire at Robb Elementary School.
During his remarks at Tuesday’s briefing, McConaughey eulogized the shooting victims and urged Congress to to pass gun legislation including background checks, red flag laws and raising the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 rifle.
Still, Stanage said, McConaughey made it clear he wasn’t trying to demonize gun owners.
“His argument, in essence, is there is space for responsible or sensible reform that does not infringe upon the rights in the Second Amendment,” Stanage said.
Currently, a bipartisan group of senators are in talks about gun legislation. About six Republicans are involved, Stanage said, though 10 will need to join if all Democrats vote for gun reform.
“There is optimism, but it’s not guaranteed,” Stanage said. “The people negotiating want to strike a balance of getting something effective done, but not overplaying their hand to the point where you just destroy the chances of a bipartisan deal.”