EDITORIAL: Do not be afraid to pass the mic

Two EC Republicans drew much negative attention during EC’s walkout on Wednesday, March 14. The reason: they showed up toting a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag and pocket constitutions protesting against the idea of limiting their second amendment rights. 

For the most part, we believe that there must be stricter protocols in terms of purchasing firearms and limits as to which weapons civilians can possess. Despite how ardently we disagree with their protest, we must acknowledge that they have a right to express their political beliefs. 

EC students like Katrina Mioduszewski responded to their protest with disapproval stating,   “Their opinions do not matter,...the facts are clear that guns are evil and harmful to society and people’s lives. Those in favor of guns have no right to express their opinions.” 

Whether or not their opinions matter is entirely up to you. However, none of us should take it upon ourselves to pick and choose who gets to express their voice. That is not a democracy.

Their difference in political thought have as much influence over our legislation as ours do. Take this as an opportunity to hold constructive dialogue rather than an excuse to belittle equally valid thoughts. 

While guns have certainly placed our nation in a serious epidemic of violence, we can’t entirely define its existence as purely evil or harmful. 

Guns will always exist in our country and at certain circumstances they are essential. Members of the editorial board have households that carry guns for the purpose of self-defense and protecting one’s family members in the event of a threat. Yet, we also urge for regulation.

During this time of political tension, college students have been notorious for hindering conservative speakers. Riots have ensued and violent protests have surfaced when ideas that clash with the liberal youth make their presence on campus. Not too long ago, UIC students protested Trump’s visit to the UIC pavillion, causing the cancellation of this speech. 

Recently, Mike Ditka’s lecture had been “postponed” due to the growing numbers of outrage.

Our generation has a knack for condemning opinions that we don’t particularly agree with. There is always room for differences in political thought, but when some take it upon themselves to diminish the voice of others, then we have entirely missed the point. The first amendment applies to everyone, there are no exceptions.

A few months ago on this very campus, we saw some of the sharpest minds in our community gather for a teach-in that urged students to “Dare to Disagree,” however if the sentiments displayed here are that of the majority, then it would appear that message fell on deaf ears. 

Part of forming a society that is truly best for everyone is letting the ideas of everyone collide with each other, and letting society determine which of those ideas have the most merit. If we simply decide that some ideas do not matter, we are robbing ourselves of the opportunity to form a better society.  

Furthermore, if you disagree with a dissenting opinion so fervently it would behoove you to jump at the opportunity to confront that opinion. Part of truly debunking flawed ideologies is confronting them head on to shine a light on their logical shortcomings, and if you are unable or unwilling to do that then perhaps your beliefs are not as strong as you thought.  

We don’t have to agree with these opinions and some of these opinions may not even be ethically correct but the point is that we have no right to hinder their voice especially when they have let ours be heard. 

Facing an unpleasant truth: the first amendment is not always pretty

Photo courtesy of Noah Pearson

Photo courtesy of Noah Pearson