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Ravenclaw
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PostSubject: Outline.   Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:43 am

This was something I had to do for last year for my discussion and debate class. We were debating whether the drinking age should be lowered to 18 or not. I made an outline for my speech, which I am posting here. It kind of reads like an essay, but is not actually an essay.

The essay I wrote made me squinge.


___________________________________________________
Stance: College Student against Lowering the Drinking Age

Mark Twain said, "It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them."

18-year-old Goodie Bailey Jr. had been in college only one month when he drank himself to death. Members of a frat house that he wanted to join urged him on. He drank until he passed out, was dumped on the couch, and he was found dead the next morning.
This is a common event these days, and it shows the behavior of many teenagers who have just gone to college. There is lots of alcohol, which they may not be used to, and they end up making bad decisions.

The truth is, the brain is not fully developed until a person turns 25 years old.
Research done by the National Institute of Health shows that one of the most important parts of the brain, the part that inhibits bad decisions, is not fully formed until 25.
As it is, 21 year olds are drinking before their brains are developed, and my opponent will insist that this is not working.
Yet what does not make sense is that she wants to LOWER it. When a person is 18 years old, their brain is even less developed than when they are 21.
When children drink at younger ages, they are much more likely to become addicted. New York college students performed experiments that proved this.
Out of teens that started to drink at 18, 16.6% reported alcohol dependence, and an additional 7.8% reported alcohol abuse.
These risks decreased over 60% for students who started drinking at 21.
Students who started drinking at 18 also are much more likely to commit suicide.
Alcohol stunts the growth and affects the memory and test-taking ability of people who drink heavily at 18.
Also, there is the idea that people drink because it is a “forbidden fruit.”
It seems that people think that as soon as you take away that forbidden fruit aspect, people will not want to drink as much.
However, plenty of people under age 18 are drinking now, and the forbidden fruit aspect would still apply to them if the age were lowered. There are lots of 16 year olds, and even kids my age, only 14 or 15 who are drinking.
It is still going to be a forbidden fruit for them, and now we are tempting younger students even more. We are promoting drinking at younger ages, something that will damage the mental capacity of younger students. Do you propose that we lower it for them?
Younger people are going to be able to get alcohol.
If we lower the drinking age to 18, we are setting a precedent for younger kids. They will see that the 18 year olds were able to get the drinking age lowered by abusing the privilege that is not even theirs yet. What is going to stop them from doing the exact same thing? In many of their minds, if seniors in high school can get it lowered by skirting the law, why can’t they?
Teenagers are always going to want to rebel. It is in our nature.
One of the common arguments is that lowering the drinking age will make it so that our parents can be there with us, to teach us how much to drink, and help us learn all of those important lessons.
Aren’t we going to want to rebel against our parent’s wishes there too? Teens tend to think that they know best, and while some may listen, many are going to ignore their parents.
Also, there is the idea that with the lower drinking age, drinking will not be as big of a deal, and so people will drink more for pleasure instead of just for getting drunk.
For example, Germany is fifth-most drinking nation.
Only 5% abstain from alcohol, the second lowest percentage in the world.
1.7 million Germans are dependent on alcohol to the point of needing treatment, and 2.7 million abuse alcohol. If this is what it is like to have drinking be an everyday occurrence, I do not think that this is a good idea at all.
Obviously, with this plan, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
However, the forbidden fruit aspect will remain for younger kids, and for them, it will still always be a big deal when they finally are allowed to drink.

As of right now, 40% of college students can report having abused alcohol.
Over 500,000 full-time college students have suffered from alcohol-related injuries.
An Associated Press report showed that over 157 college-aged people have drunk themselves to death just from 1999 to 2005. Do we really want that number to rise even more?

Resolved: The drinking age should not be lowered to 18.

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PostSubject: Re: Outline.   Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:49 am

Kat, I like your points. And the facts about Germany really made me cringe. That's just ridiculous! I don't care what the other kid said, you would have won that debate against a rep for an alcohol company XD.

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