Well it seems that 21 is now the new 18 or at least it should be. Currently you have to be 21 to buy alcohol and to buy a pistol. However you can vote, be charged as an adult, join the military and buy long guns at 18. Well the last one may not stay at 18 too much longer.
Ever since the Valentine’s day school massacre, there has been a push for the minimum age (which is misguided because that is not what caused this to happen, but more on that in a later blog post) to buy any gun should be 21. Even the President is talking about raising the age limit to 21 to buy any gun. If this country wants to make that the law, I am fine with that…with conditions. Those conditions are lets make 21 the new 18 for everything. If an 18,19 or 20 year old can sign up for the military and be willing to lay their life down for this country, or something that could be considered even more dangerous…vote below the age of 21, then buying a gun should be at 18 also. However, if the country wants the minimum age for buying any gun to be 21, then 21 should be it. No gun buying, no being responsible for your actions (crimes), no joining the military without parent’s permission, and no voting until 21.
Thanks to Obamacare young people can ride on their parents medical insurance until 26 as it is. Maybe that should be the new age of finally being an adult? At which point do we hold people accountable for their actions? The scientists say the cerebral cortex is not fully developed until an average age of 25.
But maybe that is a bit extreme so lets go back and look at 21. if we don’t trust a young person to be mature or capable enough to buy a rifle or shotgun then how is it that we can hold them responsible as an adult for crimes? How can we expect them to make a sensible decision when casting a vote for any elected position up to the President of the United States? How can we trust them to go to basic training, learn a military skill and then possible deploy to combat and be responsible for themselves, their fellow war-fighters and possibly even for innocent civilians in another country? Could we honestly look a young man or woman in the eyes after seeing the horrors of war, which could include saving lives and very possibly taking lives and then tell them “Thank you for your service” but “you can’t buy a hunting rifle or shotgun”. How can we NOT ask someone for an ID to verify they can legally vote but we are not going to allow them to buy a rifle under 21 years old?
I had a Company Commander in the Army once time tell me about “Selective Compliance”. He is still in the Army today and I am sure he still uses that term. I never forgot that term or his definition of “the act of complying with laws/rules/regulations only when it benefits you, but ignoring them when it doesn’t”. It didn’t take long after hearing this term used a few times in situations when I started to realize this is done all the time in life by all types of people. I get the feeling this whole minimum age requirement for different actions is selective compliance. We want 18 or 21, etc. when it benefits what we need that age for. Could the military meet its recruiting goals if they didn’t allow people to enlist until 21? What would the voting populations look like if you could not vote until 21? How many under-21, easily manipulated college kids would miss helping put the candidate their professor tells them to vote for into office? How many more non-democrats would win an election if you had to be 21 to vote?
The latest moves today by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart to restrict long-gun buyers to be 21 is just a PR move (that will be a new blog post tomorrow) however it is helping fuel this call to raise the age. Of course the President is talking about it too, even though I don’t think he is really that serious about it. Florida has already raised the age to 21, and that is their right as a state. Again, I am fine with it, but then lets raise the age of any action that we as a country feels you need to be an adult for to 21. Lets not be selective and say that an 18 year old can vote or lay their life down for this country but not be able to buy a gun.
Maybe there is a compromise here…maybe we say 21 is the minimum age for all of this unless you are serving your country in some selfless way like the military or the state, local or federal government or some other way. If you serve in a “giving back” way, then you can vote, buy a gun (pistol or rifle), buy alcohol, and be charged as an adult all at 18. Maybe by serving your country or community, you would be rewarded by allowing you to do some of these things at a younger age than the rest of the country. Just a thought from me, but who knows.