This topic from CNN news is one I’ve long debated over: should we lower the drinking age?
On one side of the debate, the testimony from countries who allow kids to have a glass of wine with dinner, and they tend not to go nuts and die from binge drinking when they are suddenly let loose in college.
On the other hand, does it encourage kids to drink earlier?
On the other hand, I take great issue with the term “kids.” Until a person is in their 30’s, they are girls and boys and kids. Forget about the fact that, at 18, they can vote and fight for their country, they are tried as adults and can sign legal documents. We insist that they are children who know nothing and should be treated with no respect.
Well, yeah, they know nothing. I think most of us know nothing until we are probably 50. And maybe not even then. But to treat someone as a baby lets them off the hook (“Boys will be boys!” = there is no point in trying to civilize the young males. This is crap.)
I have long been in favor of making the 18 year old cutoff age as the true threshold of adulthood. At that point you are a grown-up, with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with this label, and if you mess up we aren’t going to smile and waggle our finger and say, “Kids will be kids.” You will be busted.
And there will still be drunk drivers, there will still be people dying of alcohol poisoning, unfortunately. But we will have consistent expectations of our young people. They will know when they need to wise up and start behaving themselves, even if in reality it ends up taking them awhile to get there.