With November ninth fast approaching, I’m now in the three hundred sixty fourth day of my twentieth year. Soon I’ll be twenty one years old, an age that makes most American Millennials jump for joy at the prospects of legal drinking, gambling, and several other notable activities. Perhaps I should be filled with glee at the idea of finally being treated like an adult by society, and yet my mind has turned to anxiousness and frustration. I don’t see my upcoming birthday as me finally being old enough to drink, gamble, and own whatever sort of firearm I want. To me, gaining the rest of my civil liberties on my twenty first birthday is a slap in the face- a sign of our Nanny State only begrudgingly granting its citizens equal rights at the last possible moment in their lives that anyone in their right mind would find offensive. Why should I be ecstatic about only now being allowed all my rights as an American citizen that I should have had the opportunity to enjoy years ago?
These restrictions don’t come from a place of common sense- The United States has an incredibly high rate of binge drinking deaths, beating out Luxembourg, Switzerland, The UK, Ireland, Iceland, Australia, South Korea, Japan, South Africa, Italy, China, and nearly every third world nation on the planet for number of binge drinking deaths per population. Where the US has a binge drinking death rate of nearly three in 100,000, Italy (one of Western Europe’s most laissez-faire countries when it comes to alcohol use) has only a rate of 0.37 in 100,000, a rate nearly eight times lower than the United States.

Eight times lower, guys. Come on.

It’s not as though those three years make a difference in terms of lives saved. The typical line we’ve been fed by the federal government is that numbers of traffic deaths were decreased by large amounts after the Federal Uniform Drinking Act was passed in 1984. However, any sort of actual scrutiny reveals that there was no significant life saving effect whatsoever that was caused by the UDA’s passage (and in fact, data supports the claim that it actually increased death rates among minors). Surprise, your government lied to you! Again.

^^ This guy didn’t get the memo about the UDA ^^

Then theres the age old adage: I’m old enough to die for my country but not old enough to have a beer? Scoff all you want, but there’s infinite truth to this. As angry as I was when I was made to forcibly sign the draft so that our government can throw me into a war on a moment’s notice (yes, the draft is still around), I was presented with the comfort that at least now I was old enough to be treated as an adult and enjoy my rightful freedoms to the fullest. Clearly, that was the wrong assessment.

Sexism, yay! -_-

Where gun rights are concerned, we must again question the motive behind the three year push-back. Yes, individual rights vary from state to state and not every state or jurisdiction requires gun owners to be twenty one in order to own certain firearms or even practice concealed carry. Hopefully, those of you who live in areas with these restrictions will feel my pain (for those of you who are unaffected by these restrictions, bear with me for a moment).

We all know that increased gun regulation doesn’t lead to increased safety. Some of the most crime ridden states in the country, particularly California and Illinois (Hey, Chicago!), have incredibly strict gun laws. In California as a whole, all firearm sales must go through licensed dealers and require background checks, most automatic weapons and large capacity magazines are banned, and the state’s constitution doesn’t even have right to bear arms provisions. In Chicago, it’s a similar (if not more tragic) story. In fact, until a 2014 court ruling declaring the regulations unconstitutional, Chicago had outright banned the sale of all firearms inside city limits. And yet, with Chicago being the murder capitol of the United States, and California being infamous for its Compton and LA area street gangs, we all know that these laws don’t work. Meanwhile, South Dakota has some of the most lax gun laws in the country, and is the only state where guns are involved in less than 35% of all murders.

So being from Iowa, I am required by law to be twenty one years of age or older in order to obtain a concealed carry permit. In other words, my state (and many others like it) doesn’t think that I’m “adult enough” to actually practice my constitutional rights and freedoms to fully protect myself legally. So, if we know that these restrictions don’t even prevent violence, why have these in place at all? One word: fear.

Recently, Barack Obama visited his home city of Chicago to address gun violence. While addressing the gang war-torn city, his response to the violence was naive, if not predictable for a democrat- we just need even more gun control! That’s right. In a city that is so up to its ears in firearm regulations that its actions have been ruled unconstitutional by federal courts (none of which have actually done anything to stop the violence plaguing the city), Obama says that the solution is more regulation. Typical. It’s a similar story whenever a mass shooting occurs in the US. After the Umpqua and Sandy Hook shooting, you’ll remember that the media was in a frenzy for weeks with increased calls for gun control, either from the rest of their mainstream media ilk or from prominent figures of the Democratic Party, who took the opportunities as usual to turn the tragedies into nothing more than political soundbites for the campaign trail cough Hillary cough. These actions are nothing more than politicians in positions of power using the fear of ordinary people to push their own personal agendas.

As for gambling, what really needs to be said? Do people really believe that the Nanny State’s excessive regulations actually improve lives? Does anyone actually believe that people don’t have the right to spend their own hard earned money however they damn well please? It certainly doesn’t hurt anyone. It just seems like yet another case of the incredibly loud minority drowning out the overly apathetic majority.

I don’t know, it looks pretty fun to me.

So in the end, the answer is really quite simple: stop using fear as a tactic to push ridiculous and unconstitutional regulations on the American people. Let people live their lives however they would like to, and for goodness’ sake, stop treating me and millions of other Millennials like we’re not “adult enough” to handle the “difficulty” that comes with our rightful constitutional freedoms.

Freaking finally. Thank you, Sad Uncle Sam. Thank you.

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