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Debate Info

36
33
Yes NO
Debate Score:69
Arguments:59
Total Votes:72
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 Yes (32)
 
 NO (27)

Debate Creator

ThePyg(6756) pic



Shall we eradicate age restriction laws on tobacco, alcohol, and firearms?

Kids are interesting group of people in this country.  Often times we use to make laws in protection of kids from themselves.  the idea was that parenting was insufficient in making sure that kids grew up to be healthy, well-groomed individuals.  But now that we have laws protecting adults from their own actions, I find the government to be more about just legislating actions that it doesn't like.

Now, the evidence against smoking cigarettes is pretty clear.  Cigarettes are bad for you.  Now, the studies point mostly to smokers, because no one smokes moderately (2 or 3 cigs a day), and while it may be possible that 2 or 3 are good for you, it isn't realistic to care about that.  If you're a smoker, you're killing yourself.

However, why is this fact grounds for limiting what kids can buy?  Kids can buy dougnuts and cheeseburgers, bananas (too much potassium can kill you, even if it's just from eating a shit load of bananas), candy, windex, and all kinds of shit that can kill you from over exposure.  We know too much alcohol is dangerous, but hundreds of studies have also shown 2 drinks a day to be much healthier than abstinence.  But even if that wasn't the case, why is it illegal to sell a minor alcohol?  Why is it illegal for a minor to possess a bottle of alcohol?  Just because it's bad for you?  Because then you have some inconsistencies in your law making.

And firearms, the scariest fuckin' things that mothers will try to push into their children's heads, are illegal for kids to buy in most states.  but what epidemic are we afraid of if we got rid of age restrictions?  Are retailers just going to sell guns (which are usually hundreds of dollars) to kids uncaringly?  Are children violent beasts craving for legal firearms?

In general, why is it that being a kid means you can't legally do shit with your own body?  Is parenting not enough of control for these kids?  Is the government all of a sudden some wise entity that knows how to rear children properly?  More than the populace's parents?  

Holy shit, I'd be so happy if our government was actually that competent. 

Yes

Side Score: 36
VS.

NO

Side Score: 33
2 points

I'd say that the best type of regulation is natural and voluntary. Kids aren't going to be smoking, drinking, and killing people just because it's legal for them to buy these products. And even if they do get a gun, a bottle of gin, and a cig, what's the big deal? Has the world gone to shit just because some kids like this stuff? hell, we have no idea what the long term effects are, but if we believe that legislation today will guide us toward the CORRECT path, it says something really dark about the nature of human existence.

Side: Yes
Jace(4706) Disputed
2 points

Certainly, it is naive to think that age restrictions will prevent all youth from using tobacco, alcohol, and firearms. However, I think it is equally naive to think that such restrictions have no moderating effect whatsoever. Arguably, people still kill each other and defraud one another yet we still have laws against it. That a law will be broken by some is neither proof that it is wholly ineffective nor a reason to get rid of the law.

Moreover, prevention is only one aspect of age restriction laws. The other major aspect is that laws like these enable the state to take action in response to abuses of harmful substances or items by youth as well as against industries that market such products to youth.

I would argue that one of the primary functions of government is to control for the negative actions of individuals within society and to ameliorate the harms caused by social ills upon its members. I do not think that this says something "really dark" about human nature; I think it is a mere acknowledgement that we are not perfect and do not live in utopia.

Side: NO
ThePyg(6756) Disputed
1 point

people still kill each other and defraud one another yet we still have laws against it

Because if you commit those crimes you are punished for it. These laws serve to deter and/or punish acts of force against another. The same is not said for age restriction laws.

laws like these enable the state to take action in response to abuses of harmful substances or items by youth as well as against industries that market such products to youth.

Laws like these enable the state to force others to treat their bodies a certain, moral way. It is no right of the state to tell people what they do with their own bodies.

I think it is a mere acknowledgement that we are not perfect and do not live in utopia.

The last thing I'd want to give imperfect people is the ability to control the personal actions of the rest of the people.

Side: Yes
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: Yes

If kids want to drink, smoke, and get guns, they will find ways. Age restrictions don't work very well at all

Side: Yes
MrPrime(268) Disputed
2 points

I think "don't work very well at all" may be going a little far. I did all these things when I was young, but it was not "easy". These restrictions and decent parenting do cut down on kids using these things.

Side: NO
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: Yes
chatturgha(1645) Disputed
1 point

Sure, but not all of them will. It takes a really bad seed to steal alcohol or a gun. It takes a relatively normal kid for them to go, 'eh, why not?' when all those things could be legally obtained at their age.

There are always some people willing to break the law, but what about the vast numbers of people who would have incentive to do stupid, dangerous, or immoral things if the laws weren't in place?

Side: NO
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: Yes
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: NO
1 point

I think you should be able to buy small amounts of weak alcohol, like sangria, from the age of 12.

Side: Yes
1 point

Yes lets get 10 years olds buying guns getting drunk and smoking great idea.

Side: Yes
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: NO
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: NO
3 points

At a certain point the age restrictions are arguably quite valid. I think that there is a legitimate public concern in limiting or moderating youth access to addictive substances like tobacco and alcohol, particularly so long as those industries continue to have a vested interest in targeting youth for sales. The case for firearms is considerably more clear for me in my opinion as there really is no practical reason that a child should need to own a firearm.

Side: NO

I absolutely understand your point regarding firearms. However, alcohol and tobacco? Kids will still find ways to drink and smoke regardless of age restrictions.

Side: Yes
Jace(4706) Disputed
1 point

I agree that some youth will still find ways to acquire substances, and some may even be drawn to alcohol and tobacco due to the restrictions in the name of rebellion. However, it is also true that adults will find ways around laws that control various substances yet we still have and arguably value those laws. I think that prevention is only one facet of placing restrictions upon tobacco and alcohol, and that other benefits can result. For instance, it facilitates restrictions upon the tobacco and alcohol industries' marketing to youth. It also could be used to open up avenues of treatment for youth who develop dependencies or addictions to harmful substances (although I do not think that this has been effectively done). It is also a social statement, and while the impact of that is rather ambiguous I think it has to be considered.

Side: NO
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: Yes
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: Yes
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: Yes
2 points

How about, no?

All or nothing positions are still silly no matter how you intelligently articulate them.

People should be free enough to give themselves incentive to do responsible things without fear of the law, but law should be strong enough that people who don't give themselves incentive will have further incentive from outside their own judgement.

When it comes down to age restrictions for the things you listed, it makes plenty of valid sense to have age requirements, because children, teenagers, and even young adults are still developing a sense of reality and understanding of their environments and existences. Allowing them to possess certain things may cause them to grow up with less incentive to be responsible and safe with themselves.

Smoking and drinking alcohol is eons worse then simply eating candy or fast food. Cancer and liver disease are eons worse then mild obesity. And one of the biggest reasons we don't see people dying from liver disease and tobacco-related cancers as often as we see people die from heart disease is because tobacco products and alcohol are so incredibly fucking dangerous that natural education of their dangers combined with legislative inhibitors give people a fairly good amount of incentive to not irresponsibly deal in those products.

Children already spend a huge amount of time learning about what to and to not incentivize when they're growing up then is safe. Letting them suddenly be a legally targeted audience by tobacco companies would be disastrous to their health. The same is true with alcohol. Children are already legally allowed to drink alcohol as long as they have consent from their guardian. If they could drink alcohol without any limitation, it would easily be disastrous to their health, especially considering that alcoholic beverages can be made to taste good to suit a sweet tooth, or a weakling who can't handle bitter pure-alcohol taste, like me.

So, to answer your ultimate questions, yes, parenting is not enough to guarantee children will incentivize being responsible with alcohol and cigarettes. Hell, man, these things are illegal for children and they already still deal in them, illegally. Obviously, the incentive from parenting AND the government even NOW isn't enough to prevent them from harming themselves.

And you think things wouldn't be even worse if all this shit suddenly wasn't legally limited? Are you nuts?

Side: NO
ThePyg(6756) Disputed
1 point

but law should be strong enough that people who don't give themselves incentive will have further incentive from outside their own judgement.

What makes you believe incentive to make "healthy choices" outside of voluntarism is necessary?

A law making it illegal for you to buy something isn't incentive. It's coercion.

because children, teenagers, and even young adults are still developing a sense of reality and understanding of their environments and existences.

We're always developing a sense of reality and understanding of environments and existences. Reality development doesn't stop till you die. Now, if you mean actual neural development, yes. That development doesn't stop until you're about 25.

Allowing them to possess certain things may cause them to grow up with less incentive to be responsible and safe with themselves.

All of these things could actually be better for them if used liberally than if used conservatively. You certainly can't be the judge of this and neither should government.

Smoking and drinking alcohol is eons worse then simply eating candy or fast food.

2-4 alcoholic beverages a day (beer, wine, or liquor) is correlated with better health, lower cancer rates, lower dementia rates, lower diabetes rates, etc.

Cigarettes are known to help with many digestive issues. And now with electronic cigarettes, we've found ways to keep nicotine but eliminate tobacco all together. Maybe the age restrictions will adapt, but I doubt it. Government, and you, still feel that you know more about our individual best interests than themselves. the band Suicidal Tendencies made a song for people like you.

Letting them suddenly be a legally targeted audience by tobacco companies would be disastrous to their health.

Prove it.

Better yet. No need. You are saying that choice is dangerous. You aren't saying that tobacco is dangerous. You are saying that giving someone the ability to choose FOR THEMSELVES is dangerous. Statist logic.

but still, would be nice if you proved that our children are in danger if we eliminate laws barring them from buying things...

Children are already legally allowed to drink alcohol as long as they have consent from their guardian.

Not in my state.

If they could drink alcohol without any limitation

There are always limitations. Many stores simply don't sell things without age verification, even if they don't need any. Parents ARE a factor.

And what makes this right is because it is not coercive and violent like government legislation. People's lives aren't ruined and we are still allowed to enjoy ourselves without the fear of government saying "FOR YOUR PROTECTION, NOW BEND OVER"

Hell, man, these things are illegal for children and they already still deal in them, illegally.

Ah, so your answer is MOAR LAWS AND MONEY SPENT ON ENFORCING THEM. got it.

And you think things wouldn't be even worse if all this shit suddenly wasn't legally limited? Are you nuts?

You are in fear, I get it. You fear that human beings can't make decisions for themselves. They need a mast-ah to make the decisions for them. and yeah, a Shepard may break the leg of a lamb, but it's only so he wouldn't wander.

Side: Yes
chatturgha(1645) Disputed
2 points

What makes you believe incentive to make "healthy choices" outside of voluntarism is necessary?

Because prosperity and freedom makes our civilians inherently vulnerable to unwise choices. Why do you find it unnecessary? We don't want people to make a single choice that ruins their lives, do you?

A law making it illegal for you to buy something isn't incentive. It's coercion.

As long as you aren't psychologically abusing a child, there's nothing wrong with coercing a child into not doing stupid shit as a last resort. And considering children are ignorant of their environments and greatly depend upon their parents for context, the law is a last resort.

Now, if you mean actual neural development, yes.

That's what I meant. Good to see you're not intentionally complicating this.

All of these things could actually be better for them if used liberally than if used conservatively.

I am going to assume you mean 'used responsibly rather then if used irresponsibly', because I don't otherwise understand the context of your use of liberal and conservative in this.

With that said, there is nothing healthy about tobacco products. I'd like to see evidence that there's any such thing as a tobacco product being healthy in any amount for any significant group of people.

Though I could agree with you on the use of alcohol, as it could strengthen your body if consumed very sparingly, but the only way to ensure this is what would happen with children without damaging them would be if there was a regulation on it, which you could construe as a restriction, which means it's not an all-or-nothing solution.

As for guns, I'm not certain over whether or not there should be a restriction on whether or not children can purchase firearms, mostly because children don't usually have any money... so how is them not being allowed to buy them an issue anyway when they don't have money? Perhaps such a restriction doesn't necessarily do anything, but whether it's there or not is a non-issue. So the way I see it, there's no reason to get rid of such a restriction because it's just local governments playing it safe, and it's not harming anything by being in place since children don't go out of their way to buy guns in the first place.

2-4 alcoholic beverages a day (beer, wine, or liquor) is correlated with better health, lower cancer rates, lower dementia rates, lower diabetes rates, etc.

In some people, and not necessarily children. Their smaller bodies would handle the alcohol differently. And, since the chances of it being an unethical study are probably high, I doubt there are many legitimate studies upon the long-term effects of alcohol on children. I could be wrong, however. I would not mind a link if you have the desire to look one up, but I won't ask for you to find something on my behalf.

Though really, this whole thing about moderation you're spewing is a contradiction to your idea of there being absolute freedom. If all the restrictions are lifted, what makes you automatically assume that the majority of children will drink alcohol responsibly? Because their parents will moderate all their consumption? What about gullible parents, mischievous children, or negligent parents? What about accidents due to being uneducated?

There are so many dangerous holes in the idea of absolute freedom that it just further reinforces the ridiculousness of all-or-nothing positions like this.

Cigarettes are known to help with many digestive issues.

There are plenty of things to help with digestion that don't near-perfectly guarantee addiction and severe long-term health issues.

You know... like Raisin Bran cereal. Or... any food with fiber that isn't a cigarette...

And now with electronic cigarettes, we've found ways to keep nicotine but eliminate tobacco all together. Maybe the age restrictions will adapt, but I doubt it.

If electronic cigarettes end up dominating the market, I suspect the age restrictions will be changed so that they do not apply to electric cigs. The only slowness in change I suspect would be dependent upon the process involved with acquiring scientific results on the long-term effects up pure nicotine on children. Nicotine by itself in very small doses isn't largely dangerous, to my knowledge, but you never know what will happen to a child when they are exposed to a drug. For all the fuck we know (or I know, I haven't seen a child study with nicotine, if they exist), pure nicotine is one of the worst things you could possibly give to a child. But maybe it's not. Either way, we should make sure.

Government, and you, still feel that you know more about our individual best interests than themselves.

And instead of working with the government, you resist them, when it's in their best interest to keep you healthy and safe? What? Instead of screaming that you're being damaged and that the government is evil, why don't you try and assist the government in helping more people, more efficiently?

That would be a much larger contribution then taking these all-or-nothing bullshit stances.

All state and no freedom is stupid. All freedom and no state is just as stupid. This is my stance which I keep reiterating to you, as well as others, and yet you, as well as others, keep assuming I believe in totalitarianism or some retarded thing. At least, that's the impression I get. I'm sort of a potato.

Prove it.

If there are absolutely no laws and restrictions involving them, it would be disastrous. I can't see into the future, but I can see it now on basis of logical presumption. Companies would target children in adds, create subsets of product to attract children, and significantly lie and cheat all they could to make sure that children start drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes.

Parents would need to adapt very quickly, possibly at the sacrifice to their sanity, to prevent their children from being significantly damaged. How many innocent people are you willing to risk just to have valueless freedoms that allow children to damage themselves and require parents to work harder then how monumentally hard they already work?

You are saying that choice is dangerous. You aren't saying that tobacco is dangerous. You are saying that giving someone the ability to choose FOR THEMSELVES is dangerous. Statist logic.

Now now, you are mixing terms as you go through these sentences that aren't the same thing.

Yes, some choices are dangerous.

No, the ability to choose is not dangerous.

See the difference? Just because I think people shouldn't be allowed to hurt themselves or each other doesn't mean I suddenly want them to be unable to have the ability to choose anything. Those are two separate intentions which are not necessarily connected.

And since you seem to believe so devoutly in individualism, surely you can trust me when I say that? I mean really, come on now. I trust people, but not to the point I will assume they always know to not harm themselves. You trust people, but not the point of them telling you they think structure and control and law is a good idea for preventing people from hurting themselves and each other?

Waaait... huh?

but still, would be nice if you proved that our children are in danger if we eliminate laws barring them from buying things...

Well, just as I spoke about what you said about guns, I suppose that could be the same truth with alcohol and cigarettes. They may not have the money to buy such things, so eliminating the laws may mean absolutely nothing.

But, as I also pointed out with what I said about guns, if it's a non-issue due to children not carrying around any personal funds, what's so wrong with the restriction? If it's not harming anything by existing or not existing, then why not just keep to as to be better safe than sorry?

Furthermore, since you spoke of ALL age restrictions, and not just restrictions from children under 15, well, that's a whole 'nother story. Teenagers can get jobs and make money. Teenagers have more independence then younger children, so an elimination of restrictions that effect teenagers is far more complex then eliminating restrictions that only effect children. But I won't get into that unless you have a direct point addressing it.

Not in my state.

I hope your state acquires such a law. Or, uh, lightens the current law so it's more akin to that one.

There are always limitations

I know. Allow me to clarify what I meant: Limitations outside of personal and locally social incentive.

And what makes this right is because it is not coercive and violent like government legislation

If you need to be intimidated or forced into being told to not harm yourself, others, and/or the future of you and others, then there is something wrong with you and you deserve to be intimidated and forced.

This isn't to say it should be done if it's an assumption that you intend to harm yourself, others, and/or the future of you and others, but when it comes down to helping people and being moral, I, personally, would only work with it based upon facts. Government isn't perfect, because people are not perfect, but the general intention inevitably is to help people, because their power is dependent upon our well being.

People's lives aren't ruined and we are still allowed to enjoy ourselves without the fear of government saying "FOR YOUR PROTECTION, NOW BEND OVER"

People's lives are largely ruined due to their own mistakes. Creating an environment where our mistakes do not obliterate our lives, but still teach us a lesson about living, is quintessential to having a healthy, happy civilian population.

And while government has made mistakes trying to reach such a system for time and time again doesn't mean they should suddenly neglect trying to get to that perfect point, as you are suggesting. The mathematically best amount of order mixed with mathematically the best amount of freedom. That's about the closest we could possibly get to a utopia while we are still homo sapiens.

Absolute statism and anarchism are completely contrary to achieving this, because while what I describe is a hybrid compromise taking the best of both worlds into one system, absolute statism and what you suggest are all-or-nothing, which have all the benefits and all the faults of that one system and doesn't try and eliminate the faults of that system... which is so incredibly stupid I practically take offense to it.

Ah, so your answer is MOAR LAWS AND MONEY SPENT ON ENFORCING THEM. got it.

Not at all. My answer is better laws, not more thoughtlessly shitty laws.

You are in fear, I get it. You fear that human beings can't make decisions for themselves.

No, I fear humans beings making mistakes they cannot learn from before said mistake destroys their entire livelihood, which is what addiction to cigarettes and alcoholism does to people. And for it to happen to children? Pah!

The idea of it happening to a single child is unacceptable.

You can tell me I'm evil and want power and hate others all you want, but ultimately, I believe everything I do and will because I care about others.

They need a mast-ah to make the decisions for them. and yeah, a Shepard may break the leg of a lamb, but it's only so he wouldn't wander.

People don't need masters to control everything they do and will do. They need a guardian. A protector.

Why be so nasty as to insinuate I'm evil? Is it just because you are as narrow-minded as a Nazi and cannot associate people disagreeing with you with being at all good?

How could you possibly become such a hateful person? I think you're misguided at this point, but hardly evil. Why place that assumption onto me?

Also, your analogy has nothing to do with what I'm talking about, unless you're completely stupid. Taking away from you the freedom to damage yourself is like taking nothing away from you at all, because why the fuck would you want to damage yourself unless you are misinformed or insane? There is no reason, that's why. But people do it all the time anyways because they are misinformed, or like you, principled in exactly the wrong way and would harm yourself just to prove a meaningless point.

You say I break the leg of the lamb. You suggest that, instead of torturing the lamb, I should let it wander off and get killed by wild beasts. What makes your suggestion most invalid isn't the fact that it allows the lamb to come to harm, but that you fail you realize that I never broke the leg of the lamb in the first place.

Side: NO
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: NO
1 point

if you so, it was the same of you support the young generation to keep their habbits for being junkies, alcoholism, and more of worst doing in this world. you also agreed with the early life and the bad world by supporting them.

Side: NO
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: Yes
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: Yes
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: Yes

The universal age of 21 should be adhered because at that age, full maturity is reached.

Side: NO
1 point

Tobacco, Alcohol and Guns kill, why would you let children have them!? ARE YOU CRAZY!!!???

Side: NO
ThinkerLad(267) Disputed
1 point

So can sharp pencils in the wrong hands. Your point is what?

Side: Yes
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: NO
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: NO
1 point

Yes yes*

Side: Yes