To Eighteen Essay, Research Paper
Should the legal drinking age be eighteen or twenty-one? Why don t we make it nineteen or twenty? It seems to me that we (America) are full of contradictions, and I am not the only one. The Europeans don t understand why the U.S. allows people under twenty-one to have children, use credit cards, buy real estate, act independently of their parents and defend the country during war time-and yet not allow them to consume alcohol. Now stop I know there are a lot of conservative people out there who think that even twenty-one is too young, and I am sure that they have their reasons for feeling the way they do. There are at the same time a lot of eighteen, nineteen, and twenty-year-olds that wonder why the are not allowed the freedom of drinking.
At the age of eighteen people are considered legal adults. The older generation still feels that eighteen-year-olds are still not adults yet. Given the effects that a young eighteen-year-old voter can have on this nation through our voting process, shouldn t we then consider them adults? Some people say that eighteen-year-olds are not old enough to make a responsible decision when it comes to drinking, but according to the Constitution they are responsible enough to decide the future of a World Super Power by voting. To me, that seems a little ironic!
Deciding, whom our leaders are going to be, and what laws we are to live by seems to be a pretty big responsibility. Maybe we should take away this right until we feel that they (eighteen, nineteen, and twenty-year-olds) become responsible enough. And what about protecting this World Super Power? How old does one need to be to fight and die for their country?
To be in the United States Military, a person must be eighteen years of age. War is dangerous, so why are eighteen year-old men and women allowed to go into the armed forces where they might be killed? It is because they are considered mature enough to make the decision for themselves, but are men and women at the age of eighteen really responsible enough to make that decision for themselves? If they aren t responsible enough to drink then they are not responsible enough to protect the United States of America. If we look at the Vietnam War, half of the soldiers that fought in that war were under the age of twenty-one, and a lot of them were seventeen to nineteen-years-old. Why does this country give eighteen year-olds the right to die for their country but not the right to consume alcohol?
In my opinion eighteen is a special number. Why do we seem to operate society on a double standard where age is concerned? For instance, when a person reaches the age of eighteen he or she can leave their parents home or be kicked out, and become their own legal guardian. They no longer are required to have their parents sign their name to any documents pertaining to them, and are now considered an adult except when it comes to the consumption of alcoholic beverages. When a person eighteen or older commits a crime they will be tried as an adult. Once a person turns eighteen, they no longer go to kindergarten prison (Juvenile Hall) when they are convicted of a crime, but instead they go to jail, state prison, federal prison, or death row depending on the severity. They are now held fully responsible for their own actions, and must accept the consequences. I think that we should change the law and make it so a person can t be tried as an adult until they turn twenty-one. Maybe between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one people aren t responsible for their actions, after all, they are still considered a minor at the bars (at least in America).
I think that the United States has been going about this alcohol problem in the wrong way. If we require our children to learn about the effects of alcohol abuse at a very early age, then I believe that they will be inclined to make the right decisions later when they are legally able to drink. I believe that this education should start in Junior High School if not earlier. I also strongly believe that the legal age for the consumption of alcohol needs to be re-evaluated. I think that if at the age of eighteen that a person can die for their country, direct the future of their country, and be held responsible for his/her actions as an adult, they should be able to choose if they want to drink or not.