AAMER MADHANI 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Academy Award–winning actor Matthew McConaughey offered an emotional call on Congress to "reach a higher ground" and pass gun control legislation.

In a roughly 22-minute speech at the White House on Tuesday, McConaughey, a Uvalde, Texas, native, offered a full-throated exhortation for a gridlocked Congress to pass gun reforms that can save lives while not infringing on Second Amendment rights.

McConaughey used his star power to make an argument for legislation in a fashion that the Biden administration has not been able to by offering a clear connection to the small Texas town and offering vivid detail of the sheer loss of the 19 children and two teachers gunned down in last month's mass shooting.