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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Yet another voice in the LDA debate

There's a guest commentary in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today: Matt Lee, a senior journalism major at the University of Georgia, writing about the unintended consequences of the 21 LDA. Lee smartly suggests the old "2-tier" system of beer at 18, liquor at 21 (Lee makes no mention of wine...which, of course, never ever gets you drunk, so it's not a problem). It's a good piece, take a look.

This is exactly what I've been wanting to see, and exactly what I've been observing: a debate on this topic. The New Drys screamed and squealed when this started ("Age 21 Law [is] Not Open For Debate" howled the Marin Institute in a beautiful display of anti-American passion for censorship), and now that it's fully underway, they're engaging in fumbling attempts to ridicule the debate itself (see their blockheaded copy of Choose Responsibility's site). Guys: is a debate of the issue so dangerous that it shouldn't even take place? Or is it that you know your "facts" won't stand up to real scrutiny?


Rick Sellers said...

wow, two quick things:
1) love the picture of the soldiers they have on the CR website - as if 21 LDA is a patriotic thing.
2) Argument #1 for a 21 LDA = "It prevents adolescents from gaining access to alcohol"?

What an odd site they have. They make really good arguments for lowering the legal limit... and I think they're still opposed to it. In particular, the page titled "Marginalizes the role of parents" seemed like a solid argument to lower the LDA.

Then again, they have phrases like "remarkably precise estimate" when talking about the lives they save, on the same page they have this gem - "well over 1,000 18-24 year-olds die each year of alcohol-related causes other than traffic accidents".

Thanks Lew, looking at their sites is making my brain hurt.

Lew Bryson said...


Not sure which site you're looking at. Choose Responsibility is in favor of lowering the LDA. They're questioning the truth of the suspiciously precise estimate the pro-21 crowd gives for lives saved, and the deaths of the alcohol-related non-traffic accidents are to point up that this is not just a drinking and driving issue.

The soldier is to bring up one of the most telling issues: 18 year olds are considered responsible enough to train with advanced weaponry and defend the country...but not responsible enough to have a beer at the end of the day. Weird.

Anonymous said...

Just saw the Why21 website. Maybe I'm overly idealistic, but it still astonishes me that some people have such a vested interest in the status quo that they would rather rationalize selected "truths" than benefit from any kind of dialectical process. Talk about intellectual stagnation.

Lew Bryson said...

Ahhh, whatta they know, Rick?!

Glad we got it ironed out!