The students of Texas A&M are upset with actor Danny Glover, after his comments on the 2nd Amendment. Glover was at the school, on January 17th, to honor Dr. Martin Luther King. But things turned for the worse when Glover commented on the second amendment. “I don’t know if you know the genesis of the right to bear arms.” “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.”
Could it be that maybe the truth hurts? Or is Danny Glover off of his rocker?
Here is the 2nd Amendment
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Looking at the 2nd amendment, it appears to be cut and dry. But you have to look at the historical time frame in which The Bill of Rights was constructed, in 1771. It was a copy cat of The English Bill of Rights. When it was originally drafted, it only legally protected white men, and excluded women , and anyone considered to be “black” ,aka non-white. Black people were property. They were not free in 1771. So it is safe to say that when they were talking about “bearing arms”, they were not talking about black people. Native Americans were being forced off of their land and given only a section of land in which to live, so it is safe to say that the “right to bear arms” was not applying to them either. If we are saying that the constitution is now meant to protect all people, one can say that both Glover and the students have a right to say whatever they want to. They can back it with the 1st Amendment. Others will beg to differ siting Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted in 1948.
Article 19 says,“[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”. It also says that the exercise of these rights carries “special duties and responsibilities” and may “therefore be subject to certain restrictions” when necessary “[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others” or “[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals”
Confusing ,right? So, it is basically telling you that you can say whatever you want, but be careful not to offend anyone with your difference of opinion, or your take on things. So you go back to the drawing board. So who’s right? Can we be mad at the Mitt Romneys, the Spike Lees , the Quentin Tarantinos, the Lupe Fiascos, or the Danny Glovers of the world? Yes. Yes indeed, because after all our disappointment is a “freedom of expression” and “freedom of speech” too. But, do we have a right to say that they don’t have the right to express their opinion because it offends us in some way? Anything that someone says is going to offend someone at any given time because we are all different. What is seen as wrong by one person or group may be completely justifiable and right in their eyes.
Asa Lovechild is an accomplished actress and singer out of New York City.