Old enough to fight, but ...

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Controversial legislation under way in several states, including South Carolina, would lower the drinking age to 18. The thinking driving the change is that 18- to 20-year old men and women who are mature enough to risk their lives fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan have proved they are disciplined and responsible enough to legally buy alcoholic beverages.

Perhaps, but not everyone in that age group -- including many college kids -- have not demonstrated such maturity and responsibility. This is why organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving are adamantly opposed to any change.

That position is fueled by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studies showing that setting the drinking age at 21 has cut traffic fatalities by 13 percent for the nation's 18- to 20-year olds. It has also curbed, at least to some degree, the drinking mania gripping many of the nation's college campuses.

Also standing in the way of lowering the drinking age is a law Congress passed in 1984 that penalizes states that do permit drinking alcoholic drinks under age 21 to forfeit 10 percent of their federal highway funds. This is what prompted recalcitrant states to put the under-21 crowd on the wagon.

Moreover, there is little sentiment nationwide to allow drinking under the age of 21. A Gallup Poll last year found that 77 percent of Americans oppose reducing the drinking age to 18.

Even so, there is much truth that young people who risk their lives fighting for their nation's freedom abroad are old enough to drink a beer at home. "If you can take a shot on the battlefield, you ought to be able to take a shot in a bar," says South Carolina state Rep. Fletcher Smith, D-Greenville.

Smith also may have the answer to the conundrum. His legislation would allow military personnel, 18 years and older, to purchase booze in his state. This acknowledges that young people in the military are, generally speaking, more responsible in their conduct than their counterparts in college and elsewhere. This is a fair and reasonable distinction acknowledging that responsible behavior should be rewarded, and irresponsible behavior should not. Let's hope that, if Smith's bill passes, that the federal government will not withhold highway funding from his state.

Doing right by the military should not be punished.

Of course, this whole plan may be derailed by the fact that it seems to run counter to the equal protection granted under the U.S. Constitution -- the proposal wants to give some 18-year-olds more rights than other 18-year-olds. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

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ohhsweetconcord
3
Points
ohhsweetconcord 04/19/08 - 03:38 am
0
0

I highly doubt that an 18

I highly doubt that an 18 year old within the military has more rights than an 18 year old not within the military. I know that I'm responsible enough to be "allowed" to drink alcohol, and I'm just as responsible as someone within the military, and yet I'm denied this right because some of my friends are stupid. Well, I can guarantee you that they won't be any less stupid when they turn 21. I know we're young, but that does not make us any less of a citizen and worthy of deserving equal rights.

jamesnewsome
38
Points
jamesnewsome 04/19/08 - 04:36 am
0
0

Let's look at this from the

Let's look at this from the opposite perspective assuming that if a person under 21 years of age is not old enough to legally drink then perhaps they are not old enough to make a decision that could end their life/join the military. I don't agree with the split mentality that a person can be old enough to fight and die for his/her country but not old enough to have a drink. I just don't think the maturity factor splits to polar opposites on these two practices. Personally I do not think an 18 year old person is mature enough to legally drink or join the military. They have this invisibility syndrome, but don't realize it. Like it or not, maturity comes with age. I am all for every person having the right to serve their country and have a brew, but not at 18, 19,or 20. I am also for every young person "surviving" their decisions long enough to look back and have a mature moment of reflection about this issue.

I4PUTT
5
Points
I4PUTT 04/19/08 - 06:22 am
0
0

This entire concept is based

This entire concept is based on flawed logic. Drug & alcohol abuse are rampant in the military and especially among short term members who are generally the youngest. There is no equal right to drink alcohol. Most 18 year old kids are not mentally prepared to make good choices. If you look at most stateside military bases alcohol is available everywhere and for reduced prices. You are almost encouraged to drink. Go to washington road and look at all of the military spending the weekend at the hotels. They arrive with beer & alcohol. I hope this bill will not pass for the safety of our children.

Riverman1
70540
Points
Riverman1 04/19/08 - 06:35 am
0
0

Why don't we start limiting

Why don't we start limiting drinking to other age groups too? People over 60 shouldn't drink. Just because they are citizens like the 18 year olds it means nothing. How about say no one over 60 can drive? Seriously, I don't see how you can legally limit the rights of any citizens. The law says they are adults at 18 so how can you limit their rights?

christian134
1
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christian134 04/19/08 - 07:03 am
0
0

My opinion on this topic is

My opinion on this topic is with the restriction in place the allure of the drink is almost as intoxicating as the drink itself. Throughout generations nothing is more exciting or alluring as the forbidden.....This being said it is up to parents to instruct their children in morally correct behaviors thereby instilling in them right and wrong. As far as the drinking age being lowered for our any man or woman who joins the military and puts his or her life on the line let them have the right to a drink...Afterall if they are mature enough to do the fighting and dying they are mature enough to drink....There are, in my estimation, far more addicted adults drinking and driving than 18 year olds...for that matter 15, 16 or 17 year olds.....

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 04/19/08 - 07:43 am
0
0

Most teenagers aren't

Most teenagers aren't competent enough decision makers to drive, so now we're going to allow them to drink also? This experiment was tried in the early '70s and was a disaster. The smart move would be to raise the drinking and driving age to 25. It'd just be hard on tax revenue. Special dispensation for military on base or overseas.

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 04/19/08 - 07:47 am
0
0

Been there Done that.....this

Been there Done that.....this was done during the later years of the Viet Nam war...I was in Florida at the time the drinking age was lowered to 18.........and the number of accidents and deaths went up so fast that it didn't take long to raise the limit back to 21. It's been tried folks and it doesn't work.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 04/19/08 - 07:53 am
0
0

The stipulation would be if

The stipulation would be if they are in the service....My comment is not meant to be all inclusive....

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 04/19/08 - 08:14 am
0
0

Drinking is just another

Drinking is just another drug. It destroys the body and mind. For every dollar of taxes it brings in it cost society eight dollars. The Bible says it is wrong and that is all I needed to know. We promote alcohol in this country and wonder at our health costs etc. A little wine each week raises a woman's chance of breast cancer 50% but it is also encouraged as a cool thing to do.

God gave us a wonderful mind and the ability to enjoy ourselves in social situations without the need to modify our mind with this drug. How dumb to tell our kids to say no to drugs while we sip our wine. There is no defense for, or value in, the consumption of alcohol. If you are dumb enough to drink go ahead but, there will be a price to pay, as sowing and reaping never fails.

DoubleD
0
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DoubleD 04/19/08 - 08:14 am
0
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Okay, this would only affect

Okay, this would only affect a few hundred service members that fit that age group. Not all of them drink. Remember the cell phone in school comments? These guys are doing it anyway.

DoubleD
0
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DoubleD 04/19/08 - 08:18 am
0
0

Whatever, tell me what page

Whatever, tell me what page to go to in the bible so I can read where it says do not drink alcohol. Bible thumping idiots that take things out of text destroy the mind.

The Kingfish
0
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The Kingfish 04/19/08 - 08:30 am
0
0

Purvis have a drink and chill

Purvis have a drink and chill out.

soldout
1280
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soldout 04/19/08 - 08:35 am
0
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If my information keeps one

If my information keeps one woman from getting breat cancer or one parent from being a bad example and then standing by their teenager's fresh grave I will gladly take all the abuse any of you can give out.

The_Last_Word
2
Points
The_Last_Word 04/19/08 - 08:38 am
0
0

Single D, the Bible does not

Single D, the Bible does not say "do not drink alcohol", the Bible says "do not be drunk." Michigan lowered the drinking age to 18 in 1972 and had to raise it shortly thereafter due to increased alcohol-related deaths in the 18-21 age group. That being said, I see nothing wrong with requiring an 18 year old to show a military ID in order to get a drink. It is about time we recignized that those who join the military are a cut above any who do not. For concientious objectors they would also have to show a card but would be limited to pink daiqairis.

DoubleD
0
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DoubleD 04/19/08 - 08:55 am
0
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The Last Word, why Single D?

The Last Word, why Single D? Thanks for the info and I agree with you on your views. Also, I'm military 11 years now.

shivas
2
Points
shivas 04/19/08 - 08:56 am
0
0

Gosh, I wonder how old Jesus

Gosh, I wonder how old Jesus was when he started drinking wine?

FallingLeaves
26
Points
FallingLeaves 04/19/08 - 09:00 am
0
0

Jesus made water into fine

Jesus made water into fine wine, so I'm sure he wouldn't have if he didn't want the celebrants to drink. Wine was easier to store at that time than the fruit juices we are used to, so wine was a necessary form of beverage because they didn't have refrigeration. Certain disciples were told to avoid strong drink, but not told to abstain, since that probably was not possible in those times. But I would rather see the fighting age raised to 21, rather than the drinking age dropped to 18. It would be different if we sipped wine at table daily as in some cultures, but that is not the case here. I think we should stick with 21.

Chuchi
2
Points
Chuchi 04/19/08 - 09:34 am
0
0

Nowhere in Scripture is it

Nowhere in Scripture is it written that it is wrong to drink. Jesus' first public miracle was to change huge vats of water into wine at a wedding and He Himself drank wine, as did all Jews. He was like us in all ways except sin, so if He drank alcoholic beverages it must not be a sin. And wine itself has certain benefits for the heart; just ask the French, who drink lots of it and eat tons of fatty foods but have a much lower rate of heart disease than Americans. Moderation is the key here, though; drunkenness is the sin of gluttony. So sip instead of gulp and be sensible when you enjoy a glass.

Chuchi
2
Points
Chuchi 04/19/08 - 09:40 am
0
0

If we raised the driving age

If we raised the driving age to 21 the number of accidents on the road would be lowered significantly. If we raised the age of buying tobacco products to 21 the number of kids who are addicted to cigarettes at an early age would be lowered significantly. If we raised the age of marital consent to 21 the number of people who get married way too young would be lowered significantly. If we raised the age of sexual consent to 21 the number of men in jail for statutory rape would be raised significantly. If we raised the minimum age for military service to 21 the number of young soldiers who die would be lowered significantly. If we raised the voting age to 21 ... well, you get the picture.

Chuchi
2
Points
Chuchi 04/19/08 - 09:46 am
0
0

There is no magic age number

There is no magic age number when people suddenly grow up and become responsible. I know some 17-year-olds who are more mature than some 40-year-olds. To say that an 18-year-old is old enough and responsible enough to vote, use tobacco, leave the parents' home, get married, raise children, be tried in court as an adult, die for his/her country, etc., but is not old enough to have a beer, is absurd. You are either an adult or not an adult. You can't give with one hand and take with the other. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. Maybe if the states raised the stakes for DUI instead of giving offenders little slaps on the wrist things would be different.

imaksin
0
Points
imaksin 04/19/08 - 09:51 am
0
0

The federal government has no

The federal government has no business regulating the drinking age in a state. Let each State decide the issue without federal coercion and shut down the NHTSA bureaucracy. The ever expanding role of the Fed nanny state is the reason it costs 3 trillion dollars a year to run the US govt.

UncleBill
6
Points
UncleBill 04/19/08 - 10:01 am
0
0

Perhaps the driving age shoud

Perhaps the driving age shoud be raised to 18 with stricter criteria for getting the license. This would solve a huge parking problem at high schools and help the environment (Earth Day).

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 04/19/08 - 10:36 am
0
0

Biblical Background: 1.

Biblical Background:

1. Wine, including fermented, was used in earlier times to purify water that was stored in cisterns and wells. That was a major use of it! It was mixed with water at a very low ratio, consisting of the lowest ration of (3 parts water to 1 part wine-which was the lowest acceptable ratio; this produced a drink that was 2.5-2.75% alcoholic) up to (20+ parts water to 1 part wine). Thus, it was a sub-alcoholic beverage, which is why pastors and deacons are "not given to wine," I Tim. 3:3; 8; Titus 1:7. In Prov.23:29-31 it speaks of those who "tarry long at the wine." This purification is not necessary in modern times--we have chlorine, sodium chlorohydrates,...

2. Wine today is different than Biblical wine. "Strong drink...unmixed wine..." in Biblical times was only 3-11% alcohol. Those who drank this form of alcohol were considered barbaric! Distillation, which increases alcohol content, was not discovered until A.D. 1500. Modern wine has 9-11% alcohol; 80-100 proof whiskey and brandy has 40-50% alcohol; Biblically and culturally, these would have been unthinkable!

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 04/19/08 - 11:26 am
0
0

real life background:

real life background: fermented fruit juice contains alcohol. Those that drink it are barbaric to some. They still drink it. purv, times were different then and you weren't there. Assumptions and deductions you make about relayed information are still based on your experiences. I'm pretty sure that information about attitudes passed down for more then 2000 years has a chance of being inaccurate in some ways.

Queen4842
3
Points
Queen4842 04/19/08 - 11:28 am
0
0

Well IMO We should outlaw

Well IMO We should outlaw alcohol and cigarettes period. No one should have the right to make decisions that could harm the population at large. Wasn't that the premises behind second hand smoke, well I have a problem sharing the roads with anyone of any age drinking and driving. That includes one glass at dinner.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 04/19/08 - 11:44 am
0
0

Queen4842 outlawing alcohol

Queen4842 outlawing alcohol was tried and failed miserably....There is no chance of that happening again....People are more likely to do things that are outlawed it is just a natural state of affairs....

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 04/19/08 - 12:27 pm
0
0

In my native country the

In my native country the drinking age was 16 and recently it was raised to 18. The one major difference is the DWI law. If caught driving under the influence your vehicle is taken away and sold at public auction. It's a major deterrent!

christian134
1
Points
christian134 04/19/08 - 12:55 pm
0
0

That is one of the best

That is one of the best solutions brought forth so far....To bad it hasn't been put into action here.....

critter
2
Points
critter 04/19/08 - 01:46 pm
0
0

If you're old enough to

If you're old enough to enlist and take a bullet for our country, you're old enough to drink. I do love the selling of the car at public auction idea as well!

Farful
7
Points
Farful 04/19/08 - 04:23 pm
0
0

Years ago the drinking age in

Years ago the drinking age in S. Carolina was 18. We couldn't drink in Ga., but we would go across the bridge to N. Augusta to drink at the Heidelburg Inn and the Wine Shop next door, and La Fran's where we could drink beer and gamble playing pinball machines. Many good times back then and at the S. Carolina beaches. All military should be able to drink anywhere at 18.

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