Age of Resposibiltiy

May 16, 2012
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A group of friends all go to the mountains to have a party. One of them is being deployed to Afghanistan to fight for his country; another is getting married to the love of his life, the other just turned 18, the age recognized by our whole country as being an adult. One of them has brought alcohol and they are caught and arrested because they aren’t 21.

Is this right? Should these friends be punished because they wanted to have a good time? A time that millions of Americans are having every day. No. This just shows that it is time to change the age of responsibility.

One of the most selfless things a youth can do is join the military. They not only put their future on the line for the people of our country but they also run the risk of losing their lives so we all can enjoy the freedoms of everyday without having to worry about someone bombing or shooting us. According to Military.Com 12% of 18-20 year olds enlisted into the military to serve our country in 2010. That is almost a million of our country’s youth that is putting their lives on the line for us and our freedom. As it turns out, they can have the choice to die for what they believe but not the choice to have a beer.

In the Unites States, the age of 18 signifies the transition from being a child to becoming an adult. You are able to vote, enlist into the military, get married, and serve time in prison as an adult. You are expected to make your own decisions and suffer their repercussions. According to the Lectric Law Library, the age of majority (adulthood) is 18, and states that 18 is the age that a person acquires all responsibilities and rights of an adult.

Most underage drinking happens when the minors are without adult supervision. They think this is better because they won’t get into trouble with their parents or the law. But according to National Institute of Alcohol abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) 5,000 underage people die from drinking. If the legal age for alcohol is lowered to 18 then these numbers will drop significantly because more people will be drinking under supervised conditions where they can be cut off if they drink an excessive amount or they can be stopped before they do something that can cause them harm like driving or something stupid.

One of the reasons that minors drink alcohol is because it is a taboo for them and it gives them a rush when they take the chance of getting caught. According to the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Service adolescent brains are still developing into the minds of adults and are characteristically drawn to new and potentially dangerous situations. If the age to legally drink was lowered to 18 then some of the thrill and excitement of underage drinking will leave and the levels of underage people drinking will fall exponentially.
If the legal age to drink alcohol was dropped to 18 years of age there will be many good affects. Of course there will be some bad, but everything that people do everyday has a negative attribute. According to a study a student at The University of Indiana “ Because the twenty-one year old drinking age law is not working, and is counterproductive…”.


Bibliography
Military.com. Military Chanel, Aug.-Sept. 2011. Web. 15 May 2012. http://search.military.com/search?q=18 year olds enlisting.
"From the 'Lectric Law Library's LexiconAge Of Majority." "Age Of Majority" Defined & Explained. The Lectric Law Library, 06 July 2007. Web. 15 May 2012. http://www.lectlaw.com/def/a023.htm.
"Underage Drinking." Underage Drinking-Why Do Adolescents Drink, What Are the Risks, and How Can Underage Drinking Be Prevented? National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Mar.-Apr. 2006. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA67/AA67.htm>.
Underage Drinking: Not a Minor Problem. NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF ALCOHOLISM AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES, 21 May 2001.
Clifford, Ruth. "Forbidden Fruit: Reasons Why Drinking Age Should Be Lowered Based on Research Dr. Ruth Engs." Forbidden Fruit: Reasons Why Drinking Age Should Be Lowered Based on Research Dr. Ruth Engs. Vermont Querterly, Winter 1999. Web. 15 May 2012. <http://www.indiana.edu/~engs/articles/fruit.html>.





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