The Hollywood actor and his wife, Camilla, showed press and viewers several artifacts including drawings, pictures and clothing that they had received from parents of victims they met in Uvalde.
At one point, McConaughey pointed to green Converse sneakers worn by Maite Rodriguez that helped identify her body.
An emotional McConaughey shared that Maite, who was 10 years old when she passed, wore the green Converse sneakers with a heart on the right toe every day and loved the environment.
“This is the same green Converse, on her feet, that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her after the shooting,” he said, before slamming his hand down on the White House podium.
He added that Maite wanted to be a marine biologist when she grew up and wanted to live near the ocean to practice her profession.
The actor also shared stories of several other children who were killed in the shooting, and how their families were coping in the wake of the incident that left 19 children and two adults dead.
McConaughey shared that he and his wife also met with a cosmetologist on their visit to Uvalde after the shooting, who he said was well versed in mortuary makeup.
He added that the victims needed much more than makeup to be presentable following their deaths, noting that they were mutilated beyond recognition after the massacre.
“They needed extensive restoration. Why? Due to the exceptionally large exit wounds of an AR-15 rifle. Most of the bodies [were] so mutilated that only DNA test and green converse could identify [them],” he said.
According to McConaughey, many children were left “not only dead but hollow.”
He added that counselors are going to be needed in Uvalde for some time to come.
McConaughey urged lawmakers to work together to pass several measures including requiring background checks on all gun purchases, raising the legal age to buy assault rifles from 18 to 21 and instituting national waiting periods for them, as well as implementing a national red flag system.
He added that implementing gun control measures should not be a partisan issue.
“We’ve got chance right now to reach for a higher ground above our political affiliations,” he added.