Opinion

21: A thin line of responsibility

Tim Heacock 

 

Timothy Heacock

Just the other day, my friend turned 21. I always thought the drinking age being 21 was absolutely ridiculous, but seeing him make the transition changed my mind. Right before midnight he was carefully preparing a Jäger bomb to chug right when the clock struck that fateful hour.

At 11:59, drink in hand, I still hadn’t noticed anything different. But then it happened — I yelled “go” after counting down from ten. As he tilted his head back to imbibe his first legal drink, I saw a glint in his eye. Perhaps it was just the oppressive fluorescent light above, but I know it was something entirely different. He changed for good right when that clock struck twelve. He had finally become responsible enough to consume alcohol.

One second before midnight he was still clearly not responsible as anyone could see, but just one second later his whole mind changed. Something clicked. At midnight he became able to moderate his drinking and act like a mature human being. He was no longer a mortal threat to himself or others, and I finally felt safe around him. I realized the law that I thought was just plain stupid actually made sense; we need the law to protect us from ourselves.

Everyone I see drinking underage is completely irresponsible and gets blackout drunk when they consume alcohol. They can’t stop after just one shot or a couple beers. People 21 and over stand in stark contrast to these delinquents. To my horror, everyone who is underage and drinks proceeds to drive while intoxicated.

The only relief from this madness is the knowledge that the law and police officers have our best interests in their hearts when they arrest those filthy underage criminals for even possessing a drink. I applaud when these menaces to society get humiliated at the tailgate before a Canes football game. A person who is 20 years and 364 days old just doesn’t get it, at least in the U.S. and a handful of other nations.

Yes, it really is different in other countries. People under 21 can attest to feeling responsible enough to drink when they travel to foreign lands, whose peoples are insane enough to have a lower drinking age. But when they come back to the states, they just can’t control themselves.

These lunatics who think the drinking age should be lowered wish to see anarchy descend upon this peaceful land. I don’t want to hear the “facts” that countries with a lower drinking age have fewer problems with alcohol. Twenty-one is the law and the law is always right and just. If you don’t like the drinking age here in the U.S., you can just get out.

September 28, 2008

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Timothy Heacock

Staff Columnist


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