Making Sense by Michael Reagan
Matthew McConaughey was the star of this week’s gun drama in Washington.
Two weeks after the slaughter of 19 school children in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas, the actor made an emotional appeal for stronger gun control measures.
McConaughey got – and deserved — praise for much of what he said in the White House briefing room on Tuesday.
Sure, he was a celebrity prop being exploited by President Biden and House Democrats to sell their hysterical and unconstitutional gun control ideas to the American public.
But while McConaughey is definitely no closet conservative Republican, he owns and shoots guns and is not a stereotypical Hollywood liberal who wants to disarm every American citizen – except their own bodyguards, of course.
In a city full of Democrats exploiting the latest national tragedy for their own political gain, McConaughey came across as refreshingly reasonable, sensible and bipartisan on several gun-control issues.
Most Americans would agree with him that you should be 21 before you are allowed to buy an AR-15.
Most Americans would agree with him that there should be a cooling off period between the time you buy a handgun and the time you get it.
And most Americans would also favor his call for the increased use of “red flag” laws that allow authorities to take guns away from mentally disturbed persons who are a threat to themselves or the rest of us.
McConaughey’s rational approach to solving a highly contentious and seemingly unsolvable political issue reminded me of another movie actor I knew pretty well – Ronald Reagan.
Whenever my father was negotiating with Democrats or his own party to get legislation passed, the first thing he’d do was sit down and find all the things both sides agreed on.
Then he’d say, “Let’s write and pass a bill containing those points and we’ll argue about the other stuff later.”
In today’s hyper-partisan politics it just doesn’t happen that way.
This week the Democrats running the House put on a big emotional show to show how much they cared about the Uvalde massacre and then passed a super-strict gun control bill aimed at pleasing only their core voters.
Pelosi and her crew knew the bill would never pass in the 50-50 Senate.
Yet they were so determined to politically exploit the deaths of 19 school kids that only two weeks later they thought it was a good idea to bring in families from Uvalde to testify before a committee – and relive the horror and rekindle the grief.
Reducing future mass shootings in schools is not merely a matter of taking away the guns of everyone, including law abiding citizens.
Democrats think it’s that simple, but even an actor like McConaughey knows it’s not true.
He knows it’s going to take a mix of solutions, including making schools safer and hiring armed school guards.
Some of McConaughey’s ideas have already been put into law at the state level.
A bunch of states – including California and Florida – already have five-day cooling off periods to buy a handgun. And in California, if you’ve never bought ammo before, there’s even a three-day waiting period.
People wonder what Ronald Reagan would do about guns in the wake of these tragic mass shootings.
Well, first he’d find the areas of agreement between Democrats and Republicans in Congress and get them to write a bill.
Cooling off period? Not a problem. Age limit for AR-15s? Not a problem. Red-flag laws that are actually enforced? Not a problem.
Then he’d say, “Pass the bill and bring it to my desk and I’ll sign it.”
But he’d also add this caveat — “But you do realize all this could be done by the states – and it should be.”
Then my father would give a prime-time national address calling on governors and state legislatures to pass the federal legislation at the state level.
One thing President Reagan wouldn’t do? Go on late-night TV and chat about gun control with Jimmy Kimmel.
Copyright 2022 Michael Reagan, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Michael Reagan, the son of President Ronald Reagan, is an author, speaker and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation. Send comments to [email protected] and follow @reaganworld on Twitter.