I was actually going to post this last week, but so many things have happened to muddy the waters, including the sitting Republican President making the age limit suggestion.

Then a couple retailers decided to “just do it.”

Should we raise the purchase age for firearms to 21? Should it apply only to firearms like the AR-15?

Currently, the age to own a handgun is currently 21. Some states (like Massachussetts) classify magazine fed, semi automatics differently, and require you to be 21 to purchase and possess them.

There’s a lot of research that suggests that the human brain continues to develop until well into the 20s. Insurance companies have known for years that they can safely lower car insurance premiums at 25, because younger drivers are often demonstrably less safe vehicle operators. So, if one were going to make a science based decision, why 21? When we raised the drinking age to 21, it was through federal withholding of highway dollars. There was much argument about that then, arguments that persist to this day.

Why can they fight wars but not drink? Or own a firearm?

We LOWERED the age of the draft in World War Two, largely to fill the ranks. If we expect these men and woman to wield the ACTUAL weapons of war in ACTUAL war, what science or legal rationale drives the age for anything arbitrarily up?

We trust them to agitate for change. We trust them to vote. Are some of these things all or nothing?

Maybe raising the age is the right thing, but that seems to create more questions than it answers when its arbitrary.

Is arbitrary ever a good idea?

I am not sure.