Editorial: Civil discourse should be valued, encouraged

Editorial Board

Last night, the ISU Democrats and ISU College Republicans debated the issue of gun ownership at the second annual First Amendment Day Caucus Cup.

As one of the sponsors of First Amendment Day and of this event, the Iowa State Daily would like to thank both the ISU Democrats and the ISU College Republicans for participating. We would also like to thank everyone who attended and asked questions of the teams.

Those of us who were there had the privilege of witnessing an intelligent, civil discourse between two groups that hold passionate, but opposing, viewpoints about the issue of gun ownership. The specific resolution that was debated was, “The United States shall enact no new laws limiting gun ownership.”

The ISU College Republicans, who defended the resolution, were ultimately named the winners of the debate by judges Dick Doak, lecturer in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication; Jean Goodwin, associate professor of English and Charles Dobbs, professor of history.

The Caucus Cup was an excellent example of two groups of people using their First Amendment rights in order to facilitate an intelligent, public debate about Second Amendment rights. It was encouraging to watch two politically-opposed groups treat each other with dignity and respect while maintaining strong positions and voicing passionate, but reasoned, arguments.

We recognize that discourteous discourse is not going away anytime soon. However, we think it’s important to take time to recognize the importance of instances of civility such as last night’s debate.

This is the kind of debate and discussion we strive to facilitate in the Daily’s opinion section.

The opinion section of the Iowa State Daily serves as a forum much like the Sun Room of the Memorial Union did last night. All voices are welcome on these pages, and within the section’s online home.

Our goal is to start the discussion, and to let our readers shape and develop it.

So, as always, we encourage you to speak out and speak up. If you have something to say, the Daily is the perfect place to make your voice heard. We invite you to submit your letters to the editor to us — by filling out our online form, by e-mailing them to [email protected] or even by mailing them to us.

And if you’re not interested in writing a letter, but you still have something to say, please join the discussion online by commenting on stories and columns that spur your interest.

Our goal is to foster an intelligent discourse, and we can’t do that without your help. Good, bad or indifferent, we welcome your feedback.