(CNN) — Matthew McConaughey, who was born in Uvalde, where at least 21 people were killed Tuesday, described gun violence as an “epidemic we can control.”

“Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us,” the 52-year-old actor said in a statement.

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“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,” he said on Instagram.

McConaughey called on all Americans to “renegotiate our wants from our needs,” adding that “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.

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“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.”

The star of movies such as “Dallas Buyers Club” and “The Lincoln Lawyer” has maintained a close relationship with his home state — and last year weighed a run for governor.

When he decided not to run, he said in part “As a simple kid born in the little town of Uvalde, Texas, it never occurred to me that I would one day be considered for political leadership. It is a humbling and inspiring path to ponder. It is also a path that I’m choosing not to take at this moment.”

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