Trust us, we will drink (smarter) regardless

621

Growing up in Indiana, I have never been exposed to overly progressive alcohol laws. The "Big Brother" we know as the Indiana state government does not allow fun-loving, of-age Hoosiers to buy adult libations on Sundays or to buy cold beer anywhere other than in Indiana liquor stores in an effort to keep Hoosier citizens pure from temptations. I could rant about how backwards these laws are, but that is not the issue I want to address in this column. Instead, I would like to attack a national drinking law that is so naïve.
 Why do we, as a country, still think it is appropriate to restrict the purchasing and drinking of alcohol to people only 21 years old and older? I will avoid using the over-done argument that if an American can serve their country and die fighting for our freedom, then they should be able to buy a drink at their local bar. I am pretty confident that everyone agrees with that line of reasoning. Instead, I want to highlight how broken the 21 and older law is for a regular run of the mill American citizen.
 To start with, most Americans who graduate from high school try to further their education at one of America's many great public and private universities. American colleges across the country are great places for young Americans to grow up and mature into the leaders of tomorrow.
 I hate to break it to anyone that has been living under a rock for his or her entire life, but alcohol is a part of most adults' everyday life. As a 22 year old, I love going out to meet a friend for a drink at The Fluttering Duck or Moore's (Moore's is cooler though). That is a constant social opportunity, and it is a mature way to approach the consumption of alcohol.
 Around the world, this is the way that young-people learn about alcohol; in a responsible way. In most European nations, drinking laws are so trivial that most children begin drinking at dinner at a young age with their parents. When parents teach their children to respect and consume alcohol like an adult, kids tend to understand alcohol more than their American peers. This prevents the 'rebel' mindset associated with drinking that tends to be a dangerous introduction to drinking for American kids.
 All this logic, that the Federal government seems to ignore entirely, has led American universities to petition for the lowering of the legal drinking age. The petition, known as the Amethyst Initiative, is an effort by university presidents to acknowledge that underage drinking happens on college campuses. What they hope the initiative will curb is the presence of binge drinking among college students because underage students would not be forced to hide their drinking or overly drunk friends out of fear of legal prosecution. DePauw University's President Brian Casey signed the Amethyst Initiative.
 Cheers to you President Casey. Being realistic about college drinking is the best way to ensure a safe drinking culture on DePauw's campus.

-Small is a senior history and political science major from Zionsville, Ind.