This month, Cassie Todd-Jameson, Cheryl Todd’s (aka “The Flame’s”) daughter, once again takes over her mother’s column. This time Cassie takes on age limits. ~MC
There has been a lot of talk lately about raising the legal age to 21 years of age for a person to purchase any firearm. Currently, you must be 18 years or older to purchase all “long guns,” meaning shotguns, rifles, semi-auto AKs and ARs, etc. And for purchasing “hand guns,” you must be 21 years or older. As a member of the Millennial Generation, I have a unique perspective on the idea of what it means to be considered an “adult,” and I wanted to share my thoughts on the seemingly arbitrary ways the adult card gets dealt to us a small piece at a time.
The Flame is sponsored by AZFirearms
At the age of 16 we are given a trial-period of adult-ness as we are legally allowed to drive. At the age of 18 we are given more legal rights and the title of adult. Finally, at 21, all of the age-related hurdles are behind us and we are fully entrusted and granted all of the rights of an “adult.” All of this for simply getting older – not necessarily wiser.
As you know, in the United States, you are currently considered a legal adult when you turn 18 years of age. With adulthood comes great responsibility and new privileges and rights, but equally so, great consequences. Along with the right to vote, you can also join the military, purchase a rifle / long gun, buy cigarettes, be tried as an adult in the legal system and own property. But, by the United States government’s standards, you are really only “adult-ish,” because in 3 more years, at the age of 21 you are now, finally, fully an adult. At 21, you are now allowed more responsibilities and privileges. These include such things as drinking alcohol (unless you live in a state where you can get beer earlier), gambling and owning a handgun.
So, even though at the age of 18, you are entrusted with the option to fight for our country in combat, are given the right to vote for the next president or elected official, and own property, you are limited in many ways. Among the privileges and rights that are withheld from you are that you cannot legally drink alcohol and you cannot personally own the same firearms that you would use in the military to protect your own life and the lives of your family members.
The age limits in our country have always seemed arbitrary and have puzzled me, and have caused some very interesting conversations and debates among my peers. I have several thoughts about raising the age limit to purchasing rifles and “long guns” to 21. But first, let me tell you a little bit about me.
I turned 18 my senior year of high school; it was 2008, and for the first time, I was eligible to vote in a presidential election. In 2008 I was also engaged to be married to my husband. At the age of 20, I was married and shopping for my first home. The point in telling you this bit of information about me is to say that the government granted me the right to vote, marry, and purchase property before I turned 21. If the current proposal of raising the legal age to purchase a firearm is raised to 21, then 20-year-old Cassie would have been legally allowed to vote, marry, and purchase property but, not given the right to protect myself, my family or my property with a firearm.
In my opinion, instead of the discussion being about raising the age limit to 21 for purchasing long guns, I think the discussion should be more centered around what age someone becomes an adult in all ways, rather than “adult-ish” (with a 3-year waiting period to adulthood). If our culture decides that 18-year olds are adults, then they should be given all the rights and responsibilities of being an adult – including the rights to gamble, drink alcohol and purchase long guns and handguns.
And one more thing … I think we should get back to enforcing the laws that we already have on the books. Correct me if I am wrong, but, last time I checked it was illegal to murder someone, regardless of the weapon they used, period.
Cheryl Todd, owner of AZFirearms.com and cohost of Gun Freedom Radio, has more than 30 years of experience in the firearms industry. She holds undergraduate degrees in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership, which allows her to bring a unique voice to the gun world. View all posts by Cheryl Todd