I agree with WorldTraveler on this one.
If kids want to drink alcohol, they will anyway. In fact, they already have a variety of means. (older friends, fake IDs etc.)
In some countries in Europe, legal drinking age is 16 years old, and they seem to be doing ok.
Considering the socio-economic situation in the U.S., maybe some teenagers should wait to consume alcohol until they are able to handle it responsibly.
Same with the gun control issue, I think.
They get it anyway. Many high school kids have siblings who are college age. They get the alcohol from them. We also have lots of parents who keep alcohol at home for their own use. Kids "borrow" it from their parents. You have kids who work at the grocery stores and sell alcohol to their freinds. This issue is as much about lack of parental responsibility and societal norms as it is about what age (if any) to allow alcohol consumption.
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The thing is that if if the authority lower the age to eighteen, more teenagers who are seventeen or less will struggle to get it, this is acritical age were most of the teenagers try to imitate each other.
One more thing, by lowering the age to eighteen, more teenagers who are less than the legal age will have easy access to alcohol through their friends who are older little than them. I think the age should be 21. this is the way to protect our generation and students.
In my opinion, this is one of those lack of common sense issues. Someone who is 18 has all the rights and priveldges of an adult in the USA except for drinking They can join the military and die for their country. They can vote. They can enter into legally binding contracts. They can start and run multi-million dollar companies. However, they can't legally order or consume a drink.