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Teen Drinking is Dangerous

DISSENT

By Jonathan Samuels

While the staff makes a good point that consistency is important, it must realize that the would can't--and doesn't--always work on such clear-cut principles.

There's a good reason why the drinking age is set above the age at which one can vote: People are generally more responsible at age 21 than age 18. It's unlikely that a single vote will inflict severe harm on the voter or anyone else, but the potential hazards to an underage drinker and the members of the surrounding community are well documented. And if the legal drinking age ever reached 18, it could very well drop even lower soon after.

The staff might argue that many people never become responsible drinkers at any age and are more dangerous than many rational 18-year-olds.

But the majority of citizens at the younger age are in fact less mature and dependable in many ways. The same basic argument explains why a citizen must be 35 years of age to run for the nation's presidency, 30 for a Senate sent and 25 for a Congressional post. People making decisions which can significantly impact the lives of others must first gain experience and seasoning.

Of course, many underage drinkers in Wisconsin (and Massachusetts) will continue to have their fun--and wreak their havoc--whether or not states lower the legal drinking age.

Yet the staff is wrong to support such a measure which will invariably make it easier for teenagers to poison themselves and kill others while sitting behind the wheel of a car. That is, unless the staff (which I assume supports the protection of health, happiness and life) wishes to be inconsistent itself.

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