Privileges vs. Rights

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Chantelle Gailushas
Mr. Olson
English II
May 25, 2012

Privileges vs. Rights
Throughout history, people have always wanted what they can't have. Since the 1970's, this is the attitude most Americans have taken with respect to underage drinking. It was at this time that many states changed the legal drinking age from 18 to 21. The theory behind this was, if you rise the drinking age, people will drink more responsibly, because with age comes responsibility. Unfortunately, the people who made these laws did not consider that fact that so many individuals would not adhere to it. If America lets our young people today and our future leaders drink at a younger age, we would be risking a higher chance of our adult population abusing alcohol. Critics argue that turning 18 is the age of which adulthood begins and in which people should be allowed to consume alcohol legally. According to Opposing Viewpoints, “at age 18 you become legally responsible for your actions.” This being said, you are given the privileges to buy cigarettes, enlist in the military, vote, serve on a jury, as well as multiple other constitutional rights. People who support lowering the legal drinking age believe that once an individual turns 18 years of age, they should be permitted to purchase alcohol and consume it in a legal manner. Therefore, people who oppose changing the legal drinking age believe it should remain the same for the safety of the society. One of the most significant reasons for the not lowering the legal drinking age from 21 to 18 is to help ensure the safety of young adults. “Underage drinking is a leading contributor to death from injuries, which are the main cause of death for people under the age of 21 (The National Institutes of Health). Driving under the influence is considered to be the main cause of motor vehicle crashes among drivers ages 16 to 20. Young people's lack of driving experience renders them less likely to cope successfully with hazardous situations...
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