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Lower the drinking age as other civilized nations

What other country makes its citizens wait until they are 21 before allowing them to legally drink alcohol? The answer is none! Yes, "the land of the free," stands entirely alone with this requirement. What we've managed to do is make our young adults drink illegally and often unfortunately, use a vehicle to get out of town and away from their elders to do so.

Who are we kidding? Alcohol is not the problem, but alcohol abuse. By treating our young adults as irresponsible, as you would expect, they live up to it by drinking irresponsibly. By drinking with their friends, they not only miss out on proper supervision, but fail to have better role models. The idea that we reduce traffic accidents among youths by not allowing them to drink is the oft provided rationale.

Huh? I bet if we went back to prohibition, and didn't allow anyone to drink we could prevent even more traffic accidents. Oh, I forgot, we tried that years ago, but people still drank. Give me a moment. How about at least being consistent and not allowing anyone to serve in the military, be tried as an adult in courts, obtain a credit card, get married and/or become a parent, or to vote, etc., until they are responsible adults which, as we all know, occurs on our 21st birthday?

Don't you remember the enlightenment you had on that special day? Yes! Today I am 21! Finally I can drink responsibly. Right! It is unfortunate, but is often the case, that a small number of fanatics have hijacked our democracy and imposed these drinking restrictions, despite the fact that the vast majority of under 21 year olds find ways to drink. If I were underage, I would be communicating my feelings on this subject to my elected officials so often that it would drive them to drink.

I would ask them why they thought that American youth, among all the other youth in the entire world, were so mentally handicapped by comparison, that they should wait until age 21 to drink responsibly. What makes 16 and 18 year olds in every other nation on earth so darned more mature? Bet it isn't the water! Then I would remind them, in good "spirited" fashion, that as a responsible, mature citizen I will be voting in the next election. Now let's drink to that.

Joe Butler