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Why Are We so Different?

September 21, 2007

At twenty-one, our drinking age is higher then that of any other western country. For some reason in this country we have come to the idea that kids should exist in a relative drug free bubble until the age of twenty-one, expecting that the over protected youth will then be able to somehow cope with the outside world.

However by the time we turn twelve in many states one is able to obtain a hunting license. On our sixteenth birthday we are able to drive a car. Once eighteen is reached we are able to marry, vote, have an abortion, purchase/perform in pornography, serve on a jury, be executed, and serve in the military. I’ve always wondered why I am allowed to own an M-16, but not to drink a beer. To me one sounds far more dangerous then the other.

Don’t get me wrong I do believe there should be a drinking age, just not twenty-one. Most of the statistics cited by groups such as MADD largely pertain to those who start drinking before the age of fifteen. In this case of course it becomes absurd that a middle school student fresh into puberty should not be allowed to freely drink.

I am firmly in the camp that believes responsible drinking comes from parental guidance. From personal experience I can tell you that the people who were transported freshman year were not the ones who had tolerated alcohol. They were always the ones who, once escaping parental supervision, had gotten a hold of alcohol for the first time and had been unknowing in how to handle it. Any like minded individuals should check out this website for rational reasons against the current drinking age.

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