Danny Glover’s take on the Second Amendment has put him in the crosshairs of a group of conservative students.
During a January 17 appearance by the actor at Texas A&M University for a breakfast to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, all was going well until talk turned to the Second Amendment.
Glover told the assembled students that Second Amendment — the right to bear arms — was created to protect against slave revolts and secure Native American land, the Huffington Post reports.
“I don’t know if you know the genesis of the right to bear arms,” Glover began.
“The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect themselves from slave revolts, and from uprisings by Native Americans. So, a revolt from people who were stolen from their land, or revolt from people whose land was stolen from, that’s what the genesis of the Second Amendment is.”
An almighty row resulted when a conservative student group took exception to the actor’s words. The group — the Texas Aggie Conservatives — have now launched a petition against Texas A&M for supposedly hosting “radical leftist speakers” who promote “leftist bias” and using school monies to do so.
The group also posted a video of Glover online.
According to the New York Daily News, Eric Schroeder, chairman of TAC, told the Conservative online activist group Campus Reform that the incident was “outrageous,” adding, “”It should be a time for real reflection and respect, instead the University pushes a political agenda.”
For their part, Texas A&M officials say they didn’t know that Glover was going to talk about the Second Amendment.
“I had no idea, we really didn’t know that topic was coming up,” the director of Texas A&M’s Memorial Student Center, Luke Altendorf, told Campus Reform. “Someone was asking a question about activism, I think that’s where some of that came from.”
Interestingly, some constitutional experts agree with Glover.
Author and radio personality Thom Hartmann, writing for Truth-Out.org, has talked about how the origin of the Second Amendment’s was to “preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia’s vote.”
And in a 2008, Mother Jones reporter Stephanie Mencimer wrote:
“[Some] scholars believe the founders enshrined the right to bear arms in the Constitution in part to enforce tyranny, not fight it,” adding that “the ‘well-regulated militias’ cited in the Constitution almost certainly referred to state militias that were used to suppress slave insurrections.”
It seems the Danny Glover Second Amendment debate will rumble on for a while yet.