Why 21? Really is there anyone that honestly thinks that people are any more mature at 21 then they are at say another randomly decided benchmark like 18? Even if there are some people that this might hold true for I can assure you that most people drank anyway, so what is really the point of a law that does little aside from turn normal adults into criminals?
The drinking age was raised to 21 so that in theory people would be older, wiser, and most importantly more responsible when it came time to down a whiskey sour. What I want to know is, if someone truly follows the law and never takes a taste of booze until that magical 21st birthday, how can they possible handle the situation better then had they done it at 18? We are assuming here that this person has never drank in his life, therefore it is safe to assume that even if our imaginary friend has read countless articles on liquor and asked every single drinker in their family, they have zero idea what it does to them. The first time having an experience with any mind altering substance will always be dangerous regardless of the age in which they start.
With the age being set at 21 we have set up situations in which the first time drinking happens (in theory of course we all know better) when you are old enough to be living somewhere that is not with parents, so the support group for ensuring that one drinks responsibly are left somewhere between college party mates and friends, who are more then likely far more interested in having fun then watching out for you ensuring that you do not drink yourself into a stupor or get so drunk you start to make foolish dangerous decisions.
Of course it isn’t just that I feel that it is more dangerous to not drink at home around people who are biologically compelled to look out for you, but what really gets me furious is that our government considers us old enough to be drafted into war but not responsible enough to drink a beer. I find it difficult to think of a more insulting law that they could pass. I don’t know about anyone else, but I really don’t like the idea of someone that is so irresponsible that they cannot drink a beer without harming himself and others holding a gun. Would you want Private I Cannot Handle My Beer covering you in a firefight? Or would you prefer Lance Corporeal Hey Turns Out I’m Responsible laying down the suppression fire?
When you treat people as if they are brainless idiots then why should they bother to act in any other way? The sad part about this, is that the law accomplishes very little aside from annoying responsible people with bad luck. Irresponsible people who would drink themselves into an intoxicated stupor when they are 18-20 and then drive around like Duke’s of Fucking Hazard will do so at 21 if they haven’t managed to kill themselves already. They do this because irresponsible people have no respect for anything or anyone, including drinking age laws. There will always be people that cannot handle the awesome responsibility to act like a responsible adult and we should set up our laws and punishments to punish them, not the people that are perfectly capable of acting like an adult.
The punishment for driving drunk should be something akin to never being allowed to drive AGAIN. Once proven that you cannot act responsible enough to handle both the right to drink and the right to drive that should be it. Furthermore the punishment should be enacted quickly. For example, a friend of mine just lost his license a month ago for a DUI he received over a year ago. Despite knowing that my friend has in fact learned his lesson and stopped doing such foolish things, it does change my stance at all. He should be punished, and punished in a far more effiecent manner. What if my friend was one of those careless drunks that just wants to drive about with no care to the harm they put others in? An entire year was allowed to pass in which he could have killed someone in a drunk driving accident. I find that unacceptable.
I’m digressing from my point. I find that few people tend to agree with some of my more outlandish society ideals such as zero gun control, legalizing every drug, and lowering the age to drink, however in this case it seems some prominent schools are actually agreeing with me for once.
The article explains in far more detail then I am going to go into but the short end of it is that 100 or so colleges have started rallying against the government to lower the drinking age back down to 18 to combat binge drinking on campus. As it turns out, students that get to campus are drinking way to much without any supervision. It is my opinion that learning to deal with how alcohol effects you should be done at home, with your parents there to make sure you are OK.
The article has someone that accuses the schools of looking for an easy way out of a greater problem. Shouldn’t we be looking for easy answers always? Who the hell wants a difficult one? Besides the schools have a valid point, we assume that by 21 the students will be responsible enough to not drink themselves to death, but if they have yet to drink then how could they ever reach that level of responsibility with something they have never used? Are 21 year old people better and more responsible with everything? Are they by rule of age capable of using band saws in a safer way then an 18 year old would? No! They aren’t, the age of a person does not magically confer some sort of responsibility when handling anything. Further more, students drink anyway, they can easily acquire booze from any 21 year old student, and by keeping it illegal we only make people want to do it more often, and because of the very nature of illegal activities, do so in dangerous ways where help cannot easily be found, especially if there is any fear that one will be in even more trouble after the fact for involving themselves in the activity in the first place. In short, making anything illegal makes it more dangerous they it ever need to be.
I have already decided that I’m going to get my children drunk, so that they wake up with an awful hangover and hopefully understand that drinking large amounts of any liquor has some pretty shitty consequences. Hell, my dad gave me beer when I was eight years old, it was never taboo in my house, and now that I’m much older, I don’t drink a drop of beer, it tastes awful. My point is that since it was never taboo for me, I never felt a need to go binge drink with friends, cause there wasn’t any mysticism attached to it. I was allowed to have a drink at home when I wanted to, so I never had to go sneak out and engage in theft to get liquor to go drink it somewhere that might be dangerous. People are going to do what they want to do, silly laws like the drinking age just makes innocent people criminals.
Our laws should be based off what people will do, instead of what people should do. Should is a relative term that is different to every single person on earth. For example, I think we should get past all this religion stuff so that we can have one less thing to breed hate in our world. Other people think I should go to church. Japan has a law that states that video games cannot be released on a weekday. Because kids will cut school to go buy it, and instead of trying to fight that social norm of their society, they just altered the rules to accommodate it. As far as I am concerned if we are going to set an age for adulthood, then with that age should come all rights and privileges associated with it. People will drive drunk, that is certain, but lets simply punish those people, not punish the 18 year old adults that have yet to do anything wrong and for all anyone knows might never do a damn thing wrong when it comes to drinking.