I just read this ridiculous letter to the editor of the The Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi:
Underage drinking is on the rise, and the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision may make it even easier for minors to get access to alcohol ("Wine commerce could change," May 17).
Currently, if someone tries to buy alcohol in our state, he or she has to undergo a face-to-face ID check at a liquor store, where staff is trained to recognize fake IDs. This is a great mechanism to keep alcohol out of the hands of kids.
However, over the Internet, no one knows who you are — a minor using a parent's credit card can easily order alcohol. And if the alcohol is delivered directly to the home, then the only person who can check IDs is the delivery truck driver, who hardly has the time or the training to properly validate the age of the recipient.
This is a system that is ripe for abuse, which is one of the reasons why direct shipments of alcohol over the Internet have been banned in the past. However, the recent court decision threatens to overturn this.
I strongly support laws that prevent underage consumers from buying alcohol over the Web, and I encourage our attorney general and all of out elected officials to keep fighting to protect our kids from this menace.
Are you kidding me? There are so many stupid comments in this letter that I barely have room here to write them. (Keep in mind, I can write virtually as much as I like ;) ) Anyway, here's a few of my comments to Mr. Phariss.
- Is underage drinking on the rise? Maybe...I don't know definitively either way. But, is the Internet to blame? Minors don't want to wait a week for their wine shipment to arrive. They're much more likely to pay a bum ten bucks to buy them a six-dollar six pack first. Don't laugh, I know people that did this in their youth.
- I guess it's possible that a minor could use his/her parent's credit card to order wine on the Internet, but should goverment regulations take the place of good parenting? How did the minor get the credit card? Are parents not monitoring their own credit cards? And how can the kids recieve a wine shipment without their parents knowing? How can they make sure their parents aren't home when it comes? Seems an unlikely scenario to me on so many levels.
- Delivery truck drivers don't have the "time or training" to check IDs? As someone who receives wine shipments a couple times a week, let me tell you, they do check my ID and make me sign for it. I guess it's possible that a kid will use a fake ID to get wine...only if the 10 grocery stores, 20 convenience stores and 30 bars in town won't fall for it.
- "...protect our kids from this menace." Menace? Are you referring to poor parenting or to wine? I guess this is the kind of language I'd expect from a somtimes-Bible-thumping state like Mississippi. I can't believe you're more worried about this than the drugs your kids are probably exposed to or even offered every day at school . Nice priorities.
- "...system ripe for abuse." Right. Are kids even buying wine? I hated the stuff until late in my college career...around when I turned 21. How is this system any more ripe than liquor stores, convenience stores or grocery stores? I've bought alcohol from each before I was 21...without ever owning a fake ID once in my life. They are no more stringent. Trust me.
Sorry for the rant...but there you have it.