Wednesday, August 20, 2008

MADD: Debate is Bad

This was an interesting story yesterday. 100 college presidents suggested that, in light of the drinking culture in our society, we re-open the debate about the drinking age and consider the benefits and consequences of changing it.

College presidents live in a world with massive binge drinking amongst their students. Anbody who thinks this is the fault of college presidents is delusional. It is a mark of the state of our society.

But MADD sees debate as a bad thing, immediately bringing this suggestion down about 5 intellectual notches by replying that these presidents are completely reckless:
"It's very clear the 21-year-old drinking age will not be enforced at those campuses," said Laura Dean-Mooney, national president of MADD.
Huh? Are you serious? Sure, in the short-term more people drinking will probably lead to more drunk driving deaths. But that's an extremely simplified way to look at this problem. Why should drinking be legal at all, then? Think of the lives we could save by outlawing alcohol entirely! It sure worked back in the day.

C'mon, MADD. Why are you so afraid of open debate? Feel free to bring your statisticians and your sad stories of drunk driver induced deaths to the table. 100+ college presidents are willing to listen and discuss. Why aren't you?


Kristen said...

I could not agree more! MADD's response made me downright angry--so angry that I skipped the obvious 'mad' play on words. They come off about as myopic as the NRA. The university presidents on the other hand... their stock has gone up significantly by their willingness to engage, nay, leadership to spark this conversation. It really demonstrates that the safety of their students is front of mind.

Spirophita said...

Yeah, I'm not entirely convinced a lowered drinking age would encourage more drinking and driving, though I suppose if we're being logical only, more drivers = more death, all other things constant and equal.

I also don't think people will stop binge drinking if they can drink legally before 21. After-all, most people who wait until 21 to drink (and actually abide by the law) generally are not the type to binge drink anyway. I wish they could implement something that is specific to college campuses and not off-campus, but I suppose that is hard to apply.

But at least have the discussion!