Glenn Reynolds in WSJ: Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Drink

University of Tennessee law professor and Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds has published a persuasive commentary in today’s Wall Street Joural on Alaska State Rep. Bob Lynn’s latest proposal to lower the drinking age to 18 for members of the military. Reynolds wrote:

Defenders of the status quo claim that highway deaths have fallen since the drinking age was raised to 21 from 18, but those claims obscure the fact that this decline merely continued a trend that was already present before the drinking age changed—and one that involved every age group, not merely those 18-21. Research by economist Jeffrey A. Miron and lawyer Elina Tetelbaum indicates that a drinking age of 21 doesn’t save lives but does promote binge drinking and contempt for the law.

Safety is the excuse, but what is really going on here is something more like prohibition. A nation that cares about freedom—and that has already learned that prohibition was a failure—should know better.

Reynolds then goes on to make the political argument for Legal Age 18:

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. 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.

Read the rest of his commentary here.

111 Responses to “Glenn Reynolds in WSJ: Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Drink”

  1. Anthony Rhodes Says:

    One other thing. What do you think John’s reaction would have been if I had shown him stopthemaddnes instead of Dr. Hanson’s page?

  2. Ajax the Great Says:

    John’s reaction to stopthemaddness would probably have been extreme uneasiness to say the least, but of course he would say that it is biased and not peer-reviewed or something like that.

    I have also added two new articles to the wiki–one on NIAAA and the other on New Zealand. NZ has really been in the news lately, and they are considering raising the drinking age back to 20 after having lowered it to 18 in 1999. If that happens, that will hurt our movement in the USA as well since the pro-21 crowd will use that as an excuse to keep it 21 over here. Believe me, I have been commenting on several NZ news websites telling readers not to fall for it, and that the 21 drinking age in the USA doesn’t work.

    Would you mind if I begin writing the MADD article myself, and you can change it later if you don’t like it?

  3. Anthony Rhodes Says:

    Sure, I don’t mind. I hope you’re not thinking that I’m letting you do all the work. When writing it, try to include their questionable business practices.

  4. Anthony Rhodes Says:

    Speaking of work, I have to go to work now.

  5. Ajax the Great Says:

    No, I never thought that you were. I know you are busy, as I often am as well. There just so happens to be a lulls every once in a while for me. And yes, the questionable business practices will be included as well.

  6. Anthony Rhodes Says:

    I like how the MADD article is coming along. I’ve finished the timeline of our debate with John Searles. I’m also building a blueprint for our war on 21. Don’t worry, I got this one.

  7. Ajax the Great Says:

    Thanks. You have done a good job so far, and the only thing I added to the debate timeline was the word “(sic)” after his last quote, for effect. I’ll leave you to the blueprint article, while I write an article of my own about brain development. I have also added a disclaimer article for our protection.

    One question: why was the navigation bar in alphabetical order at first, but suddenly it’s not? Is that some quirk of Wikispaces?

  8. Anthony Rhodes Says:

    I’ve created the outline of the blueprint. I’ll fill in the details later. I also fixed the navigation bar.

  9. Anthony Rhodes Says:

    When was Candy Lightner given the chance to redeem herself?

  10. Ajax the Great Says:

    Candy Lightner could have admitted that, especially in light of recent evidence by Miron and Tetelbaum, Dee and Evans, etc., she was wrong to single out 18-20 year olds and punish them all for the actions of the few. She had no problem leaving MADD when the perceived liberty of her OWN age group was threatened.

  11. Ajax the Great Says:

    While I listed Debra Oberlin, I was also trying to find out the name of the other MADD official in the 1990s who was busted for DUI, but I can’t seem to find him or her. Do you know who he or she is? Or is that an urban legend as well?