Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Keep in mind..

...that the most used argument in favor of kids being able to drink at 18 rather than 21 is the military one-if they are old enough to carry a gun and die for their country, then they are old enough to drink. It's a great argument.

But the reason this argument is wrong is that less than 1% of 18 year old kids serve in the military. Any recruiter will tell you that at least half of the 18 year olds in this country aren't even qualified to serve. So why give all 18-20 year olds the right to drink based on the reasoning that only 1% of them have earned it?

My thoughts on the matter are just a hair different. If you wear the uniform, you were responsible enough to raise your hand and swear an oath to defend the constitution, and that makes you responsible enough in my book. Although Army policy says no one under 21 can drink, and I of course would never advocate anything different, in my team and now in my squad, any guy that wears the uniform (and can have a barley pop without making an ass of himself) is entitled to drink, and I'll usually buy the first round.

Wisconsin made headlines when it tried to change the drinking age to 18 for members of the military a few years ago, but found that the amount of red tape involved was too much. Nonetheless, I think it's an great idea. And it would make a heck of a recruiting tool, as well.

Now, as for the reasoning put forth by a group of college presidents that we need to lower the drinking age to 18 because everyone is doing it anyway and it would be safer to have kids drink legally rather than binge drinking illegally? The same argument was used to show that it would be better to give illegal immigrants (aka undocumented workers for you lefties) drivers licenses because it would make them safer drivers. There are some laws that you know you will never be able to completely enforce but they need to be laws anyway. Drivers in Minnesota speed on the freeways all the time, but that doesn't mean we abolish the speed limit. People cheat on their taxes, but we don't abolish the income tax. Underage drinking will still happen, but the law is based on sound reasoning and needs to stay in place.

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