Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This week's LVW col: 18 is Enough

Here's this week's column! Time to cook up my T-Day storm! Enjoy and happy holiday!

18 is Enough
Opposing a lowered gambling age shows a hypocrisy in Sin City


For a split second, if that, a few folks in Nevada mulled an idea proffered in a somewhat offhanded way by an attorney for a slot-machine manufacturer at a gloomy little state-of-the-industry conference. It was an idea so outlandish, so outrageous, so devious and ridiculous and dangerous that within one news cycle even the guy who dared to utter it said he was just asking a darned question and, geez, he wasn’t serious.

What horrifying thought could generate such outraged unanimity among a wide range of political bedfellows—Gov. Jim Gibbons and CityLife editor Steve Sebelius agreeing on something?!?—and such embarrassment that the notion could even be uttered?

I’ll tell you. The guy sorta, kinda wondered if maybe a state suffering a budget shortfall that could prompt the termination of school librarians and a halt to cancer treatments at public hospitals would consider expanding the pool of potential gamblers by—oh God, will this laptop keyboard spontaneously combust if I even type such shameful, forbidden words?—lowering the legal age for casino play to 18.

To which I ask: Uh, why not?

Read the rest HERE


brownbag said...

As a person who works in Amsterdam more than the US these days, I get a kick when I go to a store that sells beer. It has the big sign on the counter. We don't sell beer to those under 16. In general, it's all about environment and training, rather than the age.

Anonymous said...

Any arguments against full legal rights for people who can vote and serve in the military are self righetous and hypocritical. Electing a President and killing other people are the most inportant decisions that can be made. Pissing away your money isn't, there are zillions of other ways 18 to 20 year olds can do that.
Too often as we get older, we forget that young people are intelligent, and capable. The worst statement is "Times were different then, it's a harder world now". Bunk. 18 to vote-18 to gamble.

Jeff in OKC

Charles in Richmond, VA said...

Let's go back to what created all this 18 or 21 year old argument. At one time we were drafting 18 year olds to go to war. It wasn't a choice. It was an obligation for them to go out and risk their lives in whatever military folly came along after WW II. One of the main reasons that we drafted 18 year olds instead of 30 year olds is that the 18 year old was still of an impressionable age (immature) and could be influenced (commanded) to take risks that an older person of maturity (wisdom) would not do.

While this is a good reason to use 18 year olds in combat, it is not a good reason to allow them to consume alcohol or gamble. You make the very argument about your 18-year-old Little Brother when you say, "and I assure you he's far more capable of deciding he can't afford to play blackjack than he is of facing the horrors of combat." The reality is that at 18, he not only doesn't know what he's getting himself into by joining the military, he also may not be capable of not playing blackjack if there are influences around him at the time telling him to keep playing.

You raise the question, "Children!?!?! A 20-year-old is a child? ". Well, as they say 50 is the new 40, as an employer I can tell you that 20 is the new 10 year old. Yes, 20 year olds are just about as goofy as a 10 year old. I realize there is about a 20 year age difference between us, and I hate to sound like an old foggy, but it's the truth.

Anonymous said...

Charies, I'm 50, and an employer. My sons are 18 and 21, the oldest is in the Army National Guard. They are average kids, they do dumb things, but they are OK. I was the same way, as was my father, and his father, etc. We usually become more wise as we get older, that does not mean young people become less wise. If we fall into that trap, we are a victim of "Old Man Thinking". Soon we become bitter, and angry old people.

The most important thing in human life is-staying alive-. If we don't stay alive, nothing else matters. Asking, and trusting, someone to take another life, and protect ours, is the greatest responsibility in human life. I read a couple weeks ago that almost 700 people, under age 21, had died in military service in Iraq since 2003. Do you really think they don't deserve the priveledge of playing a nickel slot machine at Jerry's Silver Nugget?

Jeff in OKC