The Instigator
bluesteel
Pro (for)
Winning
58 Points
The Contender
m93samman
Con (against)
Losing
17 Points

The U.S. should repeal the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 7,003 times Debate No: 13320
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (13)

 

bluesteel

Pro

The drinking age of 21 makes no sense. If 18 year olds are old enough to fight and die for this country, how are they not old enough to drink?

The drinking age of 21 merely turns most college students into criminals and diverts police focus away from more serious crimes.

According to Associated Content, "The United States has the highest legal drinking age in the world." [1] Other countries have much less Puritanical views towards alcohol; the U.S. needs to follow suit.

I look forward to a fun debate.

[1] http://www.associatedcontent.com...
m93samman

Con

I thank my opponent for this debate and look forward to an interesting one.

To begin, let's define the only phrase that needs defining: "the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984". This act has the sole purpose of raising the age of purchasing and publicly possessing alcohol. Here's the definition of a few sources.

Definitions of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 (Hereby referred to as NMDAA)
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"The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 (23 U.S.C. � 158), also called the Federal Uniform Drinking Age Act, was passed on July 17, 1984 by the United States Congress as a mechanism whereby all states would become thereafter required to legislate and enforce the age of 21 years as a minimum age for purchasing and publicly possessing alcoholic beverages. Under the Federal Aid Highway Act, a state not enforcing the minimum age would be subjected to a ten percent decrease in its annual federal highway apportionment... this act did not outlaw the consumption of alcoholic beverages by those under 21 years of age" http://en.wikipedia.org...

""The legal age for alcohol in the USA is 21 years old. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 required all states to raise their minimum purchase and public possession of alcohol age to 21. States that did not comply faced a reduction in highway funds under the Federal Highway Aid Act. The U.S. Department of Transportation has determined that all states are in compliance with this act. The national law specifically prohibits purchase and public possession of alcoholic beverages. It does not prohibit persons under 21 (also called youth or minors) from drinking." http://www2.potsdam.edu...

"The 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act, [23 U.S.C. � 158], requires that States prohibit persons under 21 years of age from purchasing or publicly possessing alcoholic beverages as a condition of receiving State highway funds. A Federal regulation that interprets the Act excludes from the definition of "public possession," possession "for an established religious purpose; when accompanied by a parent, spouse or legal guardian age 21 or older; for medical purposes when prescribed or administered by a licensed physician, pharmacist, dentist, nurse, hospital or medical institution; in private clubs or establishments; or to the sale, handling, transport, or service in dispensing of any alcoholic beverage pursuant to lawful employment of a person under the age of twenty-one years by a duly licensed manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of alcoholic beverages" http://alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov...
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Next we have to establish the burden of proof. It rests on my opponent for the following reason(s); he is the instigator and wishes to alter the law of the status quo. In other words, he has to provide the reasoning as to why we should in fact repeal the NMDAA.

My opponents first round can be totally dropped because nothing he talked about was resolutional.

"The drinking age of 21 makes no sense. If 18 year olds are old enough to fight and die for this country, how are they not old enough to drink?" They can drink; they simply can't purchase alcohol.

"The drinking age of 21 merely turns most college students into criminals and diverts police focus away from more serious crimes." The drinking age is 18.

"According to Associated Content, "The United States has the highest legal drinking age in the world." [1] Other countries have much less Puritanical views towards alcohol; the U.S. needs to follow suit." What's popular isn't always right; and it would seem that, in an attempt to reduce alcohol consumption, we are serving our country well. Again, though, my opponent has the burden of proof. But to put forth a few arguments from my side in defense of the act, here are a few.

c1) People under the age of 21 are generally less developed mentally and less mature than those who are 21 or over. According to the Washington Post, the brain will continue to mature until age 21 or 22 [1]. Thus, my argument is that as you mature, you can make more rational decisions regarding alcohol consumption. Who's to stop a legal teen from drinking themselves to death out of immaturity, in a vain attempt to look cool? If only those with more mature brains can possess alcohol, then the less mature would need to get their alcohol through a middleman who can regulate them. I'm sure that they find ways around it, but at the end of the day we're debating the law, and the law has good intentions and generally good results.

c2) There is no need to repeal the act; it is not harming anyone. Basically, this argument is stressing my opponent's burden of proof.

Good luck to my opponent.

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Sources
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[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 1
bluesteel

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting the debate and find his strategy very interesting.

My opponent is essentially trying to define me out of the round by drawing a distinction between buying alcohol and drinking alcohol. Unfortunately for him, he does not define "minimum drinking age."

I begin this round with some definitions of my own:

Drinking age: the age at which someone may purchase alcohol legally and may legally consume alcohol in public places (public places: places that are outside a private residence, such as a bar)

This is underscored by:

Wikipedia: "The legal drinking age refers to the earliest age that an individual is legally allowed to buy alcoholic beverages. This is often different from the age at which they may be permitted to drink alcohol." [1]

Princeton's Wordnet: "the age at which [it] is legal for a person to buy alcoholic beverages." [2]

Notice the use of the word "buy" instead of the word "drink" or "consume."

The above definitions prove that NMDAA does (according to my opponent's definitions of NMDAA) require that all states implement a minimum drinking age of 21 or risk losing their federal highway funds.

Note: the end of that Associated Content quote from my previous round is: "The United States has the highest legal drinking age in the world, as established by the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984."

Burden of proof:

I will uphold my burden of proof by showing that NMDAA does more harm than good.

My opponent does have a burden, however, to defend and justify NMDAA because I assert that the law has "no rational basis" and was implemented largely due to lobbying efforts by a new Prohibitionist-style movement. In the American court system, proving that a law has "no rational basis" is a sufficient standard for overturning the law. Therefore, if my opponent fails to defend that NMDAA has a "rational basis" for implementation, then the courts would agree that it should be overturned.

Extending my case:

1. 18 years old: old enough to die, old enough to drink

The Baby Boomer generation fought hard to lower the voting age from 21 years of age to 18 years of age. Their logic was that if they were old enough to be drafted into the military and sent to Vietnam to die (at age 18), then they should be old enough to vote for (or against) the same politicians who were deciding to send them to their deaths. As a result of their hard fought battles, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was passed into law, lowering the legal voting age from 21 to 18.

A similar battle was fought (and won) over alcohol. Associated Content reports that: "Many states did change legislation during the Vietnam Era to allow 18 year olds to drink" [1] However, another movement during the 80's resulted in the drinking ages being pushed back up to 21 in a few states and eventually, lobbying efforts at the federal level succeeded in forcing all states to adopt the same standard (NMDAA).

My opponent claims: "[18 year olds] can drink; they simply can't purchase alcohol." These are functionally the same thing. As a result of NMDAA, the law sees an adult purchasing alcohol and providing it to a minor (under 21) as trying to circumvent the purchasing clause of NMDAA, so it is illegal to purchase alcohol and provide it to a minor. Minors (under 21) can drink only if alcohol magically materializes out of the sky. Secondly, this ignores the other clause of NMDAA: people under 21 may not drink in public. If a military private who is 18 wants to "go out drinking" with his squad-mates, he will not be able to because a bar is considered a "public place" and thus, the bar will refuse to serve him alcohol, whether or not the alcoholic drink is purchased by someone over 21. Many bars and all clubs "card" at the door, preventing minors (under 21) from even entering the premises.

2. Students into criminals, cops into robbers

Again, the drinking age (when you can PURCHASE) alcohol is 21, not 18 as my opponent suggests. In addition, most places where students would like to consume alcohol are off-limits as public spaces, such as the common areas in college dormitories or college bars. Because students cannot purchase alcohol for themselves or consume it in the places they would prefer (in public), they are forced to seek out more dangerous sources of alcohol, such as at college fraternity parties.

By forcing under-21 drinking behind closed doors, away from the prying eyes of adults, NMDAA encourages riskier drinking behavior. 60 Minutes explains that the drinking age of 21 "has simply driven [drinking] underground, behind closed doors, into the most risky and least manageable of settings. Like basements, fraternity houses and locked dorm rooms, where kids go to hide from the law and from adults, including parents, who might teach them some moderation." [4] Professor John McCardell explains that "the law has created a dangerous culture of irresponsible and reckless behavior, unsupervised binge and extreme drinking." [5] If teenagers were out in their dorm common areas or in a public place, like a bar, binge drinking would be much more difficult because it is less socially acceptable in public to chug 5 beers in a row – a dorm RA (residential advisor) or bartender would advise them to stop. Lastly, NMDAA forces kids to pre-drink or pre-load, "downing as much of the forbidden fruit as possible before going out in order to avoid getting caught drinking in public." [6] NMDAA encourages must riskier drinking behavior. Lastly, riskier settings are inherently riskier, mostly for girls, who need to watch out for rufis (the date rape drug).

Diverts cops attention:
Because police must enforce the drinking age of 21 and ensure that college students are not drinking in public, this diverts resources from more serious crimes. On a typical Friday or Saturday night at UC Berkeley, for example, response time to police calls goes way down because so many officers are focusing on "busting" underage drinking. There were three homicides near campus my senior year. The focus on underage drinking, while more serious crimes are occurring, is extremely troubling.

Afraid to call for help:
60 Minutes reports that Gordie Bailey, a college freshman at the University of Colorado in 2004, died of alcohol poisoning after drinking 15 to 20 shots because his friends were too afraid to call an ambulance (since his drinking was "illegal") and instead left him passed out on a couch, where he died during the night. [7] If providing alcohol to a minor (under 21) were not a crime, Gordie would likely still be alive today.

3. Unenforceable

According to 60 Minutes, "Asked what the advantage is to lowering the age to 18, Beckner [a police chief] said, ‘The overall advantage is we're not trying to enforce a law that's unenforceable.'" [8] College students are going to drink alcohol, whether or not it is legal to do so.

4. No rational basis

My opponent claims that people under 21 do not have fully developed brains. However, if their brain is fully developed enough to decide to join the military or to decide who should be president, then their brain should be fully developed enough to decide whether or not to drink alcohol.

5. States rights

NMDAA is an abuse of federal highway money. Each state should get to decide what its drinking age should be. NMDAA is unconstitutional by virtue of the 10th Amendment.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] Wordnet 3.0

[3] http://www.associatedcontent.com...

[4] http://www.cbsnews.com...

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid

[8] Ibid
m93samman

Con

I apologize for my late response; we all know college. I wasn't out drinking, if that's what you thought, though.

Definition debate
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Anyways, let's get to the definitions first. My opponent tries to bring his case back into the round in the definition debate by providing some definitions of his own. These are the reasons why he is still debating a lost cause:

1) He never refuted my definitions and, since they were provided first, an ideal debate would dictate that mine are accepted and his dropped. No definitions are generally allowed after the first round of debate; only definition refutation. Again, no additional definitions can be accepted.

2) http://i55.tinypic.com... His first source I can edit right now to make invalid. His second source (princeton wordnet) is only one example to counter mine. But here's the issue: he defined "minimum drinking age". This round isn't looking to that phrase in general; rather, it is looking to the minimum drinking age mentioned in the NMDAA, which is lucid in its reference ONLY to the purchasing age which is 21, and it is also explicit in distinguishing between that age and the consumption age, which is 18.

3) His quote from the previous round, "The United States has the highest legal drinking age in the world, as established by the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984" directly contradicts the text of the act, which dictates that 18 is the minimum drinking age.

For these reasons, my definitions have to be accepted. I can already urge a con vote.
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Burden of Proof
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Regarding the burden of proof, my opponent basically states that I need to defend the status quo. I don't because he wishes to change the current situation. I am advocating that we do nothing in this case, and I don't need to justify not taking action. In a debate in which one side advocates that we economic deregulation, they would have to defend why we need this deregulation by providing an affirmative case for it. The non economic-deregulation side would provide a negative case against it. This is a comparable situation to this debate. On the other hand, my opponent is trying to draw a similarity between this debate and something like the conservative/liberal stance on abortion. It is not absolute in either way; conservatives make the moral case against abortion (con) and make a case moral case for preservation of human life for disallowing of abortions (pro). They defend the stance that fetuses are alive (con of liberals) and attack the liberal advocacy of pro choice (pro of liberals). This is not the case here, in which both have a burden of proof. Only my opponent has one in the case of this debate.
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Refutation of Pro case
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1. 18 years old: old enough to die, old enough to drink

This argument is extremely biased to my opponents case, and is a logical fallacy. First, anyone is "old enough to die"; this is a misnomer on my opponent's part. I assume he means to say "old enough to be in the army". If we just go retrogressively ad infinitum, we can get to an extremely low drinking age.

My opponent says that the US has the highest drinking age of any country in the world, and advocates simultaneously that we should lower the drinking age to the same age to the age of army enlisting. But, in Uganda, the youngest soldier that is eligible to enter the army is 13 [1]. Thus, as there is apparently a reason to match the minimum standards of the lowest minimum standards on the planet, we should lower our army enrollment age to 13. Even if we don't, by my opponent's standard, 13 is still "old enough to die". So, using my opponent's logic we should lower the drinking age to 13. That would seem to be problematic.

2. Students into criminals, cops into robbers

To sum up the argument, my opponent argues that drinking has been driven underground. It's not like changing the law would change anything; if, at the average birthday party, 14 year olds are drunker than Birdy the scarecrow from Conker's Bad Furday, N64 classic game [2]. The argument is really non-unique and won't solve any problems; it will only reduce it by a percentage that is rather insignificant. Moreover, the average person in the US has had is first drink WAY before he turns 21, or even 18 [3]. The average person has had a drink by, according to this source, approximately age 16.

3. Unenforceable

My opponent's source is invalid, as are many others. But disregarding that fact, see my previous arguments regarding the average drinking age and the international standard argument.

4. No rational basis

This is the same argument that my opponent makes in (1.). My argument about brain development can be extended because my opponents (1.) argument has been refuted.

5. States rights

My opponent needs to define "abuse" to make this argument. Moreover, there needs be a balance of federal and state powers. I feel that, in this case, the current law is fine. Again, seeing as my opponent wishes to change the status quo, he has the burden of proof.
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I thank my opponent for a very interesting debate, and anticipate a great response. I thank the readers for their time.

Sources
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[1] https://www.cia.gov...

[2] http://www.xbox.com...

[3] http://www2.potsdam.edu...
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Debate Round No. 2
bluesteel

Pro

Definitional Debate:

1. Most of my arguments stem directly from my opponent's definition of NMDAA: that people under 21 may not purchase alcohol or drink it in a public place (a nightclub, bar, dorm common area, etc). As a result of NMDAA, it is also illegal for a minor to be drunk in public (DIP), even if they are not currently consuming alcohol.

2. My opponent is just being silly: the age of consumption in the U.S. is not 18. According to the International Center for Alcohol Policies, both the alcohol purchase age and alcohol consumption age are 21 in the United States. I can personally attest to this fact.

A few states allow 18 year olds to drink in a private residence (and usually only if their parents bought the alcohol for them), but if they step outside the premises they can be cited for "Drunk in Public" (under NMDAA). It's not a very useful exception for college students.

3. Unlike what my opponent claims, the text of the act never says: "states must allow 18 year olds to drink alcohol, just not to purchase it." "Not prohibiting" something is not the same as allowing it. This is the same logical fallacy as saying: "My parents never explicitly told me not to shoot up on heroin; therefore, my parents allow me to do heroin."

In addition, my opponent never answers my analysis that since purchasing alcohol for a minor (under 21) is seen as trying to circumvent the purchasing clause of NMDAA, states have all made it illegal to provide alcohol to a minor. So a minor can drink in a private residence only if the alcohol magically materializes out of thin air. This "you may not purchase and provide alcohol to a person under 21" law has resulted from NMDAA and has effectively made the "consumption age" in the United States 21.

I don't really want to argue about whether a definition can be brought up later in the debate round because it's irrelevant to this particular debate. The name of the act is the "Minimum Drinking Age Act" and it sets a minimum purchase age and sets a minimum age for drinking in public. The act itself acts as my definition of "drinking age."

I honestly don't know why I'm pushing my definitions so much, since my opponent's definition is actually a reason to vote for me. If it were currently legal for 18 year olds to drink in the United States, then there really would be "no rational basis" for not letting them purchase alcohol as well. That 3-year gap would make no sense at all.

Burden of Proof:
My opponent says he doesn't need to offer a case. I'm fine with that – it makes it easier for me to win. All I need to prove is that there are harms to having a drinking age of 21 and that some of these harms would be mitigated by lowering the age to 18.

Defending my case:

1. Old enough to die (for your country); old enough to drink

My opponent's argument about Uganda is highly amusing. I think he, however, misunderstands my argument: if a country deems someone mature enough to sign their life away to the army, then that country should also deem that person old enough to drink alcohol. The same applies to many other things: old enough to decide who should be president, old enough to decide to start smoking, old enough to consent to sex with anyone, and old enough to decide to get married. All of these are major decisions that 18 year-olds are deemed old enough to make (in this country). The United States DOES NOT deem a 13 year-old "old enough" to enter the army. In fact, all Western news organizations deplore Uganda's practice of conscripting child soldiers and are not afraid to say as much. I do, however, believe that if Uganda continues this deplorable practice that they have "no rational basis" to deny these child soldiers the right to drink alcohol.

2. Students into criminals

I'm not sure what my opponent's argument is here. He seems to be suggesting that the problem of underage drinking is "insignificant" but then he cites statistics showing that the problem is widespread. And he leaves most of my arguments here untouched, meaning he has conceded them:

NMDAA's purchasing clause and prohibition about drinking in public places (bars, clubs, etc) force college students and other minors (under 21) to:

a) seek out more dangerous sources of alcohol

When girls drink from sources of alcohol that they do not directly control, they are increasing their chance of getting rufied (date raped)

b) engage in riskier drinking behavior

Unsupervised drinking results in riskier drinking behavior, like downing multiple shots in a row. For this reason, some campuses, like Stanford, purposely subvert the law and sponsor underage parties so that RA's (residential advisors) can oversee the drinking. This practice should be legalized.

In addition, when minors (under 21) are "going out" to parties, they often pre-drink, which involves downing multiple drinks immediately before "going out," in case alcohol is not readily available at the next venue. A purchase age of 21 would make this practice unnecessary.

c) fear calling for help

Since providing alcohol to a minor (under 21) is illegal under NMDAA, people are afraid to call an ambulance when someone under 21 drinks too much alcohol and gets alcohol poisoning (because the over 21 alcohol provider might "get in trouble"). Making the drinking age 21 would mean people like Gordie Bailey would still be alive (60 Minutes).

3. Diverts police attention

My opponent is not very specific on why my source from the police chief that the law is effectively unenforceable is not a valid source, so I'm not sure how to defend it. My point here is simple: diverting police resources on college campuses from more serious crimes (like murder, rape, burglary and theft) to bust "underage drinking" makes little sense, is a waste of money and resources, and is dangerous since these more serious crimes need to be addressed first. USC police ignore underage drinking to go after more serious crimes; however, this is not true of all campus police, such as those at UC Berkeley. If the law is effectively unenforceable, and college students are going to drink anyway (whether or not it is "legal"), then why divert so many police resources to trying to enforce this particular law?

4. No rational basis

If my opponent is okay with 18 year olds drinking (since he thinks the drinking age is 18), then what is the rational basis for denying purchasing? The courts would overturn the law if it had no rational basis.

5. States' rights

States should be able to pass state laws based on local values and cultural norms. The 10th Amendment guarantees this power: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Telling states: "We, of the United States Congress, know many of you have passed laws to make the drinking age 18, but anti-alcohol lobbyists in Washington D.C. convinced us that these laws are ‘wrong,' so we're going to let your highways fall into disrepair unless you change these laws" – that is my definition of an "abuse" of federal highway money.
m93samman

Con

I thank my opponent for his timely response.

Definitional Debate
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At the end of the day, the act does not prohibit drinking between the ages of 18-21. And, unfortunately for my opponent, if something isn't prohibited, is IS allowed, although not encouraged. There is no reason to debate this anymore, I feel like it is clear enough. Even if not, let's move on.
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Burden of Proof
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We have come to consensus on this issue.
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Refutations
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1. Old enough to die for your country; old enough to drink

My "amusing" argument is rather serious. My opponent takes the position that we have the highest drinking age in the world, and should reduce it to match that of others. By that standard, there is no reason to deny that we have an army that can easily reduce its minimum age to match that of others. And even if 13 is too low, as by Ugandan standards, there are countries that conscript from age 14-17. Since my opponent wishes to match the drinking age to the age at which 1) we are old enough to die, and 2) we are the same as other countries, the two are equivalent reasonings pushing for the same factor. Thus, we should also have the same "old enough to die" age as other countries, which in turn would reduce our drinking age. My opponent basically concedes this argument anyways, by saying "I do, however, believe that if Uganda continues this deplorable practice that they have "no rational basis" to deny these child soldiers the right to drink alcohol."

2. Students into criminals

The argument is that the problem will be very inadequately solved. Drinking occurs at a very high rate in high-school age teens, and, matter of fact, over 40% of students have had "more than just a few sips of alcohol" by 8th grade! [1] The argument also necessitates that we lower the drinking age to 13, just like argument (1.). These arguments are all tied together, and calling them "amusing" does not invalidate them.

3. Diverts Police Attention

The source says "Ibid", which is why it is invalid. That isn't really a source I can look at, or click.

4. No rational basis

I am not okay with any drinking; I am a Muslim. But with looking at it strictly through Western standards, I've already discussed why purchasing should remain up to adults. See the argument regarding brain development.

5. States' rights

Your quote is not cited, and seems to be evident that you made it up. Moreover, my opponent has not fulfilled the burden of proof in this argument. I.e. he shows no analysis as to why the status quo should be changed, provides no clear violation of states' rights, and doesn't provide the explicit link between alcohol consumption and states' rights. He gives no reasoning as to why this ought be a State right, not a National power; I could claim it is National by the status quo or through the elastic clause of the Constitution. But I need not go into detail; again, it is up to my opponent to do the arguing.
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Since we are now at round 4, an ideal debate would dictate that no new arguments be added; just summaries and voting issues be mentioned, and possibly a final reiteration of a refutation of some sort. If my opponent does in fact argue, that gives me the right to argue in the last round as well.

I wish my opponent the best of luck.

________
Source(s)
________

[1] http://www.sadd.org...
Debate Round No. 3
bluesteel

Pro

I thank my opponent for his timely response and sincerely apologize if he was offended that I found his argument amusing. I was amused mostly at the unexpected nature of the argument, as well as the imagery of drunk 13 year-olds fighting in the U.S. Army.

Definitional debate:

My opponent doesn't answer my argument that "not prohibiting" something and "allowing" (making it legal) are not the same. Remember, if your parents fail to prohibit you from doing heroin, that doesn't mean they are allowing you to do heroin.

In addition, I agree that minors (under 21) can drink in private residences, assuming the alcohol materializes out of thin air (meaning no one purchased it for them – which is a crime) and provided that they do not leave the private residence ever, while intoxicated.

This, however, functionally makes the consumption age in the U.S. 21, since alcohol generally does not materialize out of thin air and most young adults enjoy leaving their homes while intoxicated.

Back to my case:

1. Age of maturity
I believe that each country should develop an age of maturity, at which time young people are considered mature enough to make all of their own decisions. I agree with the United States' age of maturity, generally considered to be 18. I do not think we should lower the age of maturity in regards to our military. I do, however, believe that if the age of maturity is 18 for making decisions regarding the army, smoking, voting, sex, and marriage, then it should be the same for purchasing alcohol. How does it make sense that you can decide to get married at 18, a decision that will affect the rest of your life, but you cannot decide to purchase a 6-pack of Budweiser?

2. Students into criminals

I appreciate my opponent clarifying his argument here. His argument seems to be: children under 18 will still break the law. I agree. However, this is not a reason to keep the drinking age at 21. If the smoking age in the U.S. were 30, and I proposed lowering it to 18, pointing out that people under 18 will still smoke is not a justification for keeping the smoking age at 30.

In addition, my opponent needs to understand the unique experience at college campuses. Most students in college see drinking and partying as a "God-given right" and as an integral part of the "college experience." For this reason, drinking on college campuses is widespread, and legalizing that drinking could have a number of positive benefits: college students would drink in safer venues (dormitories, bars), would be less likely to engage in risky drinking behavior (such as pre-drinking), and would be more likely to call for help if someone has alcohol poisoning.

Drinking in college is much more widespread, occurs more frequently (every week, not once or twice a year), and is more dangerous than my opponent's example: 14 year-olds sampling daddy's liquor cabinet at a slumber party.

At the end of the day, my opponent has no refutation to the fact that college students would be safer if their drinking was legalized.

3. Diverts police attention

Ibid means "the same place" in Latin. It is used in footnoting to denote that the source comes from the most previously cited footnote.
http://en.wikipedia.org....

Sorry for the confusion, but it's a commonly used technique.

My opponent could have tried to answer my argument's basic logical premise: that it makes no sense to divert police resources away from serious crimes (murders, rapes, burglaries) to "bust" underage drinking, when college students will continue drinking "illegally," whether or not they receive one or two police citations (fines). I felt much less safe at UC Berkeley knowing that so many campus police resources were going towards cracking down on underage drinking, instead of on securing the areas around the campus from more serious crimes.

4. No rational basis

My opponent's brain development argument was: 18 year olds do not have fully developed brains and thus cannot make the decision to drink. My question was: if my opponent (looking at the issue through Western standards) thinks it's okay for 18 year olds to drink (since this was his basic strategy from the beginning – to argue that they can drink alcohol but not purchase alcohol), then how does that make even a modicum of sense? Why should we be okay with them drinking a substance, but draw the line at purchasing the substance? If the law's intent was to allow 18 year olds to drink, but prevent them from purchasing alcohol, then the law truly has "no rational basis."

It would be like saying "cocaine is now legal in the United States – you can use it, you just can't buy it from anywhere." The law contains an internal contradiction and should be overturned by the courts for being illogical and self-contradictory.

I refer you back to two quotes from my opponent's first round: "The drinking age is 18" and "They can drink; they simply can't purchase alcohol." If my opponent is right, then there is truly no "rational basis" for allowing drinking, but drawing the line at purchasing.

5. States' rights

I did not "make up" the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, as my opponent claims. He can Google the 10th Amendment if he thinks I'm lying. And I do provide analysis as to how, during the Vietnam Era, the drinking age was a state's rights issue. The Associated Content article specifically talks about how NMDAA was a reaction to state laws that had implemented a drinking age of 18 and was implemented largely due to lobbying efforts. NMDAA, thus, usurped the state's power to set their own drinking ages.

The following scenario is an accurate description of what Congress was telling the states when it passed NMDAA (based on the Associated Content article): "We, of the United States Congress, know many of you have passed laws to make the drinking age 18, but anti-alcohol lobbyists in Washington D.C. convinced us that these laws are ‘wrong,' so we're going to let your highways fall into disrepair unless you change these laws." Again, this is an abuse of both the elastic clause and federal highway funding.

I'd like to agree with my opponent that no new arguments should be made in the last speeches. I hope that he holds himself to the same standard.

Round summary:

NMDAA criminalizes something that we all know college students are going to do anyway: drink alcohol. If their drinking were legal, college drinking would be much safer in a variety of ways:

a) safer venues

Na�ve college freshmen girls would not be as likely to ingest rufis (the date rape drug) at a bar, as they are at other more dangerous, underground venues.

b) regulated drinking

In public, like at a bar, young adults are under the more watchful eyes of older adults, a bartender, and bouncers who are going to look down upon and prevent acts of dangerous drinking.

In addition, if over-18 drinking were legal, colleges could hold sponsored parties aimed at teaching college students more responsible drinking behavior (like Stanford does illegally now).

c. pre-drinking

College students are forced to quickly drink a great deal of alcohol before going out "to party" because they do not know if they will be able to acquire alcohol at their next venue. Allowing them to purchase alcohol obviates the need for them to take 8 shots in a row before venturing out during a "party night."

d. calling for help

Because NMDAA criminalizes "providing alcohol to a minor" (under 21), college students are afraid of calling an ambulance if they provided alcohol to a minor (under 21) who now has alcohol poisoning. Countless lives could be saved at college campuses if college students were not so afraid to call for help (60 Minutes).

Lastly, police have more important crimes to pursue (rape, murder) than spending their Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights writing "drunk in public" and "minor in possession" citation tickets.
m93samman

Con

I thank my opponent for his rapid response as well, and accept his apology, although I was not offended. I'm also glad that he has a sense of humor; when it comes to debate, though, logic is superior to comedy.

Definitions:
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
Although I do not answer the argument explicitly about not prohibiting versus allowing, this is an issue that we still have in the constitution of strict versus loose interpretation. Strict interpretation advocates that the rights the federal government has are ONLY the rights that are explicitly mentioned; loose interpretation advocates that the rights the federal government has are ALL of the rights that aren't explicitly prohibited. Seeing as my opponent, again, has the burden of proof, he has to give reasoning as to why his strict interpretation has to be used. The debate is over on his part though, so it would seem that I have won this section of the debate. My opponent continues "This, however, functionally makes the consumption age in the U.S. 21". But functionally would be a loose interpretation in his favor; therefore there is an inherent double standard he is using to advocate his definitions. I'll let the judges resolve this in voting.
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Final arguments addressed
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1. Age of maturity

If we can get married at 18, why can't we decide to purchase Budweiser? The answer is a critique of the entire issue; I don't feel that there is a specific age at which we can identify brain and mental-functional maturity. I suggested 21 as a safer zone, but again, 18 is arbitrary regardless. This is a totally subjective argument that gets the Pro case no where.

2. Students into criminals

My opponent wishes to reduce the crime of alcohol; at the same time, he only wishes to do so up to a certain point, that being age 18. He is fine with the 41% of people who have had "more than just a sip" by 8th grade continuing to break the law; this appears to be a double standard, and his argument is invalid.

3. Diverts police attention

I apologize for my shallow knowledge of Latin; regarding the rest of the argument, I do in fact disregard the logical premise. I agree that it does divert police attention, but again, it does seem to use the same double standard that my opponent has been using throughout the round. Moreover, my opponent with the burden of proof doesn't provide a solid link between increased unresponded-to crimes and the NMDAA. The argument can be neglected as there is no real warrant, or justification.

4. No rational basis

My opponent's question: " if my opponent (looking at the issue through Western standards) thinks it's okay for 18 year olds to drink (since this was his basic strategy from the beginning – to argue that they can drink alcohol but not purchase alcohol), then how does that make even a modicum of sense?" I said that it would make sense because their is a more rational mind/source from which they have to get their alcohol, that being an adult. I do recognize the contradiction my opponent points out, but it is reconcilable with the use of a little analysis: in my opinion, having a middleman through which alcohol is brought to minors is an excellent regulatory policy.

5. States' rights

I wasn't referring to the 10th amendment as a "lie", and I do recognize that that IS in fact the 10th amendment. I was referring to the quote after that. Here it is, as a refresher:

==="We, of the United States Congress, know many of you have passed laws to make the drinking age 18, but anti-alcohol lobbyists in Washington D.C. convinced us that these laws are ‘wrong,' so we're going to let your highways fall into disrepair unless you change these laws" ===

I'm not sure how true that quote is. He cites Associated Content but provides no link; it is unverifiable for the purpose of this round. Meanwhile, my opponent still has yet to uphold his burden.
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Summary
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Regarding the "no new arguments" issue, my opponent and I did the same in addressing the final statements using previously made arguments. I urge that the voters provide a "tie" for the conduct portion of this debate.

Overall, my opponent was several deficient in providing solid reasoning as to why we should change the status quo. His arguments seemed to be more emotionally and syllogistically charged than they were substantiated empirically. He has failed to effectively uphold his burden of proof, and for this reason, I urge a con vote. Thank you.
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Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bluesteel 6 years ago
bluesteel
haha, that's cool
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
@bluesteel: sorry if I came off as sort of a prick. I'm also well known for bad word choice :P
Posted by bluesteel 6 years ago
bluesteel
@m93

Fair enough. And yeah, the vote bombing is lame, but obviously not something I can control.
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
Wow, votebombed much?
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
@Bluesteel: I never said that I wanted people to vote for me based on my accomplishments; I said, "My gears of debate spin a lot around burden of proof and definitions, as you can see. In high school debate, I was state and nationally ranked for a reason. I could take apart your case without even addressing the arguments." Meaning that, while in high school, I used this style of debate a lot and I was successful at it. That's all I said, and if you call that a "shoddy" method of debate while I go around the country defeating top-quality debaters, you can go ahead and do that. The college life doesn't even give me the time to do all the research on empirics; I just did what I could given the time I have.
Posted by Kn1ght 6 years ago
Kn1ght
I believe that the drinking age should be 18 for those in the military, but 21 for those who are not.
Is that not an solution for both sides?
Posted by bluesteel 6 years ago
bluesteel
@m93

It's pretty arrogant of you to claim that you took my case apart without even addressing my arguments. That's obviously not how I see the round. I personally don't think you prove that the drinking age in the US is actually 18; I also don't think your 13-year-old Nigerian soldiers argument is remotely responsive.

In addition, I find it in bad taste to mention your competitive accomplishments as a reason that judges who vote against you in this debate are "not on your level." I have decided to refrain on this site from mentioning any of my competitive rankings because I would rather be judged by the force of my arguments rather than the height of my accomplishments.

Personally, I completely agree with J.Kenyon - I think BOP arguments are shoddy. You could have easily gained the upper hand in this round with some empirical research, comparing the US drinking age to that in countries with lower ages (like in Europe), in regards to drunk driving and binge drinking statistics. I was at first worried after you accepted because as I researched, I realized that most of the empirics did not go my way. In fact, debating using rhetoric and personal experience was a calculated decision on my part to prevent you researching the empirics, which I assumed you would do if I cited studies of my own. By continuing to argue BOP you actually played perfectly into my strategy.

You're obviously a really smart guy. I think you'd be a much stronger debater if you stopped trying to rely on cheap tricks.
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
"c) fear calling for help"

I see Pro already made my point. I'd only read through round 2 when I posted.
Posted by Mirza 6 years ago
Mirza
This has been interesting debate and a well-argued one from both sides.
Posted by Mirza 6 years ago
Mirza
This is what I call a reference:

http://www.xbox.com...
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