Today (4-6-11) I read that Alaska is now considering lowering the drinking age for US Military to 18 with military ID. Good. But why ONLY to military? At 18, you are old enough to smoke cigarettes. At 18, you are "wise" enough to decide to marry and legally decide the course of your life. And maybe the most important, you are old enough to vote for the person with their finger on the nuclear trigger. They can vote for the people who can pass the laws that may ruin our economy, or start wars. They are old enough NOT ONLY to volunteer to carry weapons, they CAN, if the draft is re-instated, be FORCED to go forth and carry weapons they aren't even old enough to own legally, and go forth to die for our country. But they aren't smart enough to drink responsibly or own/carry a handgun. Now, do not construe this article as supporting the idea of "LEGAL DRINKING AGES" or "LEGAL AGE TO OWN/CARRY HANDGUNS". Those of you familiar with me KNOW that ain't so!
However, IF there are legal ages that determine "adulthood" or Citizenship", why is that age lower than the age to drink or own guns?? The wrong vote (as proven in the last three presidential elections at the very least) is FAR more damaging to the country than a drunken 18 yr old or even an 18 yr old with a handgun. There isn't "conditional" citizenship in this country (unless you consider resident alien conditional citizenship), so an American adult citizen SHOULD have all the rights of EVERY citizen. Vote, serve voluntarily or involuntarily in the military, own handguns, drink, smoke, ALL of these are rights or obligations of adult citizenship, NOT JUST VOTING AND SERVING!!
Now, I'm sure there are some of you out there saying "But guns and booze cause deaths!" So what? Voting does too. And from the number of military funerals we've seen over the last 10 years, so does military service. If you're old enough to sacrifice your life for the country, you're old enough to buy a bottle of Jack Daniels or a Colt 1911A1. Now, when my father was in the military in the 50s, in North Carolina, the drinking age was 20. But men with a military ID weren't even proofed in bars. Set the ID on the bar and the cops walked on by. You DID get flagged earlier than the locals, but you DID get served. I don't begrudge the men and women in uniform the drink. But I DO begrudge the stripping rights from those citizens who aren't yet 21 and AREN'T in the military. Did you know that MANY police departments accept candidates who aren't 21 to wear the uniform, yet the can't OWN OR CARRY their duty weapon off duty, because they aren't old enough??
So, the next argument will probably be "But drunk driving deaths are higher among the 18-21 age group than in any other." SO WHAT?? Are they citizens? Are they eligible for the draft, or to sign up without parental permission? Are they legal adults?? If the answer to these questions is "YES", then there is NO excuse to deny them their Constitutional rights or the right to drink.