I think this particular proposed law - and the whole idea of “assault” weapons - is ridiculous, so don’t take my comments as applying to that specifically. But in general I have mixed thoughts about age-based legal rights/privileges. The idea that we as a society use age as a basis for legal matters is inherently a compromise because it would be impossible to determine on an individual basis whether each person has the maturity and responsibility to exercise “adult” rights and privileges. We certainly know that people don’t automatically gain this maturity on their 18th or 21st birthdays, but we’ve settled on that because there’s just no better option. So it makes sense to me that 18 is an appropriate minimum age for some things, but 21 makes more sense for others. So yeah, it creates a gray area, but individuals’ maturity and responsibility levels certainly aren’t black and white based on their age, so why shouldn’t there be a gray area?
Even with regard to firearms laws, I don’t think it’s necessarily a 2nd Amendment violation to have some restrictions apply to 18-20 year olds. Just because the voting age was constitutionally lowered to 18 (I personally think it should go back to at least 21) doesn’t mean that applies to the Constitution entirely. I’d argue that it implicitly means that it does not. For example, I’d be ok with an approach to constitutional carry where a permit is required from age 18-20, but permitless carry is allowed at age 21+.
Drawing these lines based on age is inherently arbitrary, but I don’t think that means it has to be the same line for everything.
While I do agree with you philosophically the gray area does open up some important questions. Are we willing to say an 18 year old can be deployed to Iraq but not have a beer with dad while on leave? Are we willing to say that at 18 years old you are no longer under the care of your parents but you still can’t defend yourself? Do we say you have limited liberties until you are 21?
Maturity is a different question for sure.
Those are certainly valid points/questions. If the federal government allowed states to adopt their own drinking age laws, then laws could be more flexible. E.g., allow 18-20 year olds to drink at home but not necessarily be served at a bar or purchase on their own. (just giving examples, not advocating any specific policy). Bottom line though, unless you’re arguing for all rights/privileges to attach at birth, or to adopt some scheme where responsibility can be measured individually (both of those are meant rhetorically), then reaching a specified age is really the only option. There’s nothing magical about 18 or 21, it’s just what we’ve settled upon as a society over the centuries. I’m sure there are plenty of examples like the ones you mentioned that don’t seem fair or don’t make sense, but I just don’t think it’s inherently unjust for some things to require reaching a certain age, and for others to require a slightly greater age.
Let’s hope the voters are smart enough to return the lawmaker to private citizen status where he can fully experience the benefits the legislature continually bestows on its citizens.
Some years back, Wisconsin tried to lower their legal drinking age to 18. The neighboring states (especially the People’s State of Chicago) lost their ever-lovin’ minds. Federal pressure finally forced them to give up.
I don’t know if it’s still this way- I haven’t been paying attention- but when I was younger, it was only illegal in Wisconsin for someone under 21 to purchase alcohol. It was perfectly fine for an 18-year-old to drink alcohol, so long as someone over 21 bought it.
Petty legal games like that are probably why I grew up to be so cynical of such laws.
On Marine Corps bases a Marine is allowed to drink. If ya can die for your country ya should be able to have a drink.
Yeah that was around 1986 when the feds essentially forced all states to raise their drinking age to 21 (or lose federal highway funds). I believe it was that year because DC was one of the last to raise theirs, and my ex, who lived in Northern VA, was able to go to bars in DC because she had turned 18 that year just before it changed. I’m about a year younger and was never able to (plus I didn’t live around there at the time anyway).
And what you said about Wisconsin may be true. The federal requirement only applies to purchase and public consumption, so that would actually allow for what I said earlier with regard to consumption at home if purchased by a parent. In theory, it might even apply if under 18 - at least, the federal law wouldn’t preclude that if the state allowed it.
I think states need to stay out of our homes. It may or may not be legal to give a minor alcohol, I don’t know, but it’s pretty common for parents to give their teenagers a taste to satisfy their curiosity. It’s either that, or they’ll go out and do it on their own. To me, it’s similar to taking your child to the range and teaching them firearm safety, so they don’t sneak behind your back and play with firearms without any frame of reference.
Are there parents who let their children abuse alcohol, or parents who let their children do unsafe things with firearms? Yes, but if we take away all the tools that parents have to raise their children in order to accommodate every accident or bad home situation, we’ll create more problems than we solve.
Just my opinion.
That varies quite a bit from state to state, whether it be totally against the law, in private, various ages, etc. I know when my daughter was little, I would let her smell the beer or wine in the glass and dip her finger in to get a taste. It was long after, well over 18, before she was even interested in any type of alcohol, because as a kid she had already decided she did not like it.
When she was about 3-years old, she one day refused to drink juice any longer. We were having dinner at the time. I took a cheap wine glass and poured the juice into that, and added water to about a 50/50 dilution, and told her it was kid’s wine. She loved the idea, and for several years would ask for that - she obviously knew by the taste what it was. I gather she just liked the idea of drinking from the same glass we were.
Born and raised/lived in CO my entire life; it will always be my “home” but it not the state it once was-been that way now going on 40+ years. When I retire, I am leaving CO because of how Californicated it has become; not a decision arrived at lightly.
Don’t move to Illinois. It’s worse here, but at least we can still buy normal capacity magazines…so far…