Tuesday, July 19, 2011

21 Turns 27

This past Sunday, July 17, was the 27th anniversary of the signing of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act.   This was the law that coerced states to raise the drinking age to 21 or lose 10% of their annual highway funding.  It was signed by President Reagan--so much for "states' rights" and "limited government."  Every state except Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and (until 2010) Guam had sold out and went with the flow.  We would have though for sure that the southern states would have at least threatened to secede as a result, but money is the roach of all evil.  It was upheld by the highest court in the land when some states decided to fight it, and those states eventually capitulated.   But that was not all--the precedent was set for further federal financial coercion, even when it was not directly related to the funding.  Thus, a piece of America died that day.

One can only hope this un-American law will join the "Forever 27 club."

Let America be America again, and lower the drinking age to 18.  If you're old enough to go to war, you're old enough to go to the bar.  'Nuff said.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Things Underage Drinkers Didn't Do (Part 1)

Dave Hitt has a great website, Quick Hitts, with a section titled, "Things Atheists Didn't Do."  It is a list of recent, high-profile cases of the crimes, follies, and misadventures of religious fanatics.  We at Twenty-One Debunked have decided to do something similar.  From time to time, we will post "Things Underage Drinkers Didn't Do", a (partial) list of all the high-profile drunken crimes, follies, and misadventures involving people age 21 and over during the past week or so.  Every case we list occurred in the USA or one of the few other countries where the drinking age is 21, and nearly all cases have no mention of other substances involved.  All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


An underage drinker did NOT "misplace" his baby on the sidewalk after drinking.

An underage drinker did NOT get naked and take a dump in his neighbor's garage.

An underage drinker did NOT kill her teenage son in a drunk-driving crash.

An underage drinker did NOT try to kidnap two teenage girls like this creep did.

An underage drinker did NOT need to be tasered after drunkenly killing a young man and injuring another at 100 mph.

An underage drinker did NOT leave her 3 year old son alone at the pool to get beer money so she could get wasted.

An underage drinker did NOT possibly set a new record for Georgia's highest BAC level (FIVE TIMES the legal limit!) while driving with one's kids in the car in broad daylight.

An underage drinker did NOT drunkenly drive her SUV and smash into a fire station, injuring her teenage daughter who was riding with her.

An underage drinker did NOT get so incredibly wasted that he was completely oblivious that the pedestrian he hit while driving drunk (and landed inside his car) was dead.

An underage drinker did NOT kill a Red Cross volunteer in a drunk-driving crash.

An underage drinker did NOT kill his passenger when he drunkenly sideswiped a train.

The Melrose Place actress who allegedly drove drunk and killed an (almost) elderly New Jersey woman and actually had the audacity to laugh afterwards was well over 21.

Also, none of the police officers recently busted for DUI (one of which drove with his 3 year old son) were underage either.

And that, my friends, is just the tip of the iceberg.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Excellent Alternet Post about the Drinking Age

The recent post on Alternet about the drinking age is probably one of the few (if not the only) occasion the progressive alternative news site wrote an article about this issue.   It is surprising that they don't discuss it more frequently, especially given their very liberal stance on the legalization of other psychoactive substances.  It is truly refreshing to see them be in favor of liberty and justice for all, not liberty for "just us" like some so-called "progressives" and drug-law reformers.

The article, which is clearly in favor of lowering the drinking age, does almost as good a job at debunking the latest Carpenter and Dobkin study as we did back in May.  It also discusses the wisdom of Barrett Seaman, author of Binge: What Your College Student Won't Tell You and current president of Choose Responsibility.  Seaman knows what a failure the 21 drinking age has been, especially on college campuses.  In addition, the article points out just how out of step America is with the rest of the civilized world.

As for the book Binge, while we at Twenty-One Debunked agree wholeheartedly with Seaman's evaluation of the failure of the 21 drinking age and how the law appears to throw gasoline on a fire (so to speak), the author does seem to over-egg the pudding a bit on the other issues he discusses when comparing today's campus life to the way it was in the 1960s when he was in college in upstate New York.  Yes there are kernels of truth in what he says, but we hardly believe that today's students are embroiled in the kind of crisis he appears to suggest they are in.  There is definitely a nostalgia bias at work here.  And while we question whether technology really deserves much of the blame for the apparent "disconnection" he notes, we certainly agree that the 21 drinking age (which artificially and arbitrarily divides members of the college community) certainly isn't helping.