Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
It became a mantra in our home, and it was not a fun discussion.
"When I am 18, I can do what I want to!!"
"No, you can't. I am ** yrs old, and I can't do what I want to!"
"Well, I can't wait til I am 18, cuz then I WILL do what I want to, and you can't stop me!"
"Hey, I can't drive as fast as I want to, the police will ticket me. I can't do a lot of things I may want to do, because there is always someone to tell me 'No'... my boss is another example. And if all of those with authority over me fail to make me realize that fact, there is a HIGHER Authority to Whom I answer who eventually WILL let me know that I should not have done all that I wanted to do..."
"Well, I am an ADULT when I am 18, and I won't have to listen to you anymore!"
Final word on the topic was mine:
"There will be no one considered to be an adult in this household until they have Diploma in hand, and a job of their own to support themselves."
Why our legislatures continue to use the magical number of 18 for majority, voting, and now, once again... drinking... is beyond me! Most teens at 18 are still in high school!
The argument used to go... they can be drafted at 18. No, they registered for the draft, and were drafted at 19 in the big 1969-70 draft push that took so many guys aged 19-26.
But we could not vote til 21. We could drink beer at 18, in 'teen bars', but not 'hard stuff' til 21. Dumb laws... Beer is just as alcoholic as any other alcoholic drink. You get just as drunk with it.
At least when Wisconsin changed the law years ago, they used 19 as the cut-off, later opting for 21.
Now we have a man trying once again to lower drinking age to 18. Former Middlebury College President John McCardell to be specific, and I just cannot agree with his thesis. Lowering the age to 18 will cause more problems in the long run. It won't prevent binge drinking. It won't prevent abuse, and addiction. It won't prevent accidents caused by drunk drivers. It won't prevent poor work in schools.
But it will add to the stress that parents of 18 year old high school students already have.
Why not work to change the age of majority, the age to vote, the age to drink, the age to enter service, etc to an age where HIGH SCHOOL is completed, and the diploma is IN HAND. In a day when post-high school education is nearly mandatory (whether it be apprenticeships, Associate Degrees, Baccalaureate or more advanced degrees) in order to support one's self and family, that HS diploma is minimal!!
SOOOO, while Lew Bryson also has tons of things one can do at 18 listed as his reasons for lowering drinking age to 18, I would rather see him propose to raising EVERYTHING he has listed to 19, OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL, Diploma in hand. And yes, Lew, in answer to your question... I AM!!