If they can be shot at for their country, why won't their country let them drink? 

Examiner Sunday Reflection contributor and Instapundit founder Glenn Harlan Reynolds has a great piece up tonight on The Wall Street Journal's web site making the case for allowing 18-year-olds to drink legally.

The argument is simple and familiar:

"Eighteen-year-olds in America are old enough to do pretty much everything except drink. Along with joining the military, 18-year-olds can vote, marry, sign contracts, and even take on a crippling lifetime burden of student loan debt in pursuit of an education that may never land them a job," Reynolds writes.

"Yet we face the absurd phenomenon of colleges encouraging students to go into six-figure debt—which can't be discharged in bankruptcy—but forbidding them to drink on campus because they're deemed insufficiently mature to appreciate the risks," he said.

Fair point, no?

But Reynolds doesn't just make the case for letting 18-year-olds lift a brewski without fear of being arrested. He also points to one of the political implications of the situation:

"Republicans are supposed to stand for limited government, freedom and federalism, but it was under a Republican administration—and a Republican transportation secretary, Elizabeth Dole—that states were forced to raise their age limits or face financial penalties," Reynolds points out.

"That was before the tea party, though. Perhaps today, when Republican leaders across the board are singing the praises of limited government, it is time for them to put their money where their mouths are and support an end to the federal drinking-age mandate."

That's a fair point, too. Anybody care to offer a rebuttal?


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Mark Tapscott

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