"Here's a gun, and here's a beer"


Over at Radar, reason contributor Marty Beckerman plugs in a genuinely confusing bit from Fox News earlier this week in which the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) goes on a tear about how troops under 21 are "malleable" and hence shouldn't be able to drink legally. The context isn't clear and the video is very Zapruder-quality. But watch it and decide for yourself.

On Monday Fox News Channel aired a debate between Candy Lightner, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Alex Koroknay-Palicz of the National Youth Rights Association, which contends that if you're old enough to vote, marry, and join the Army, you're old enough to guzzle Jäger. As you can imagine, Lightner was unimpressed, and rather vocal about it:

Koroknay-Palicz said U.S. soldiers between the ages of 18 and 21 should have the legal right to drink a beer, which seems more than reasonable considering that they might, you know, die at any moment. (You need to unwind after your day at work?) But Lightner was disgusted that our fighting men and women would have the audacity to imbibe. She ranted that 18-year-olds haven't "developed, and that's exactly why the draft age is 18, because these kids are malleable." She added: "They will follow the leader, they don't think for themselves, and they are the last ones I want to say, 'Here's a gun, and here's a beer.' They are not adult—that's why they're in the military. They are not adults."

More here.

Update: Over at reason.tv's Rough Cut blog, Dan Hayes has posted video of a Fox News debate about whether the drinking age should be lowered, a move that several states are considering. Check that out here.

And last April, reason Senior Editor Radley Balko interviewed former Middlebury College President John McCardell, Jr., who heads up Choose Responsibility, a group that advocates repealing the drinking age back to 18. Read that here.