Beverage of Choice

It’s been recently reported that North Carolina may soon legalize1 beer tastings, bringing them to parity with existing laws on wine tasting.

My response: “Took you long enough!” The depths of stupidity that alcohol-related laws in various states plumb amaze me sometimes. What possible reasons could there be to prohibit the public sampling of various beers?

Of course, there’s always someone who has to be a downer:

Criticism of his proposal comes from social conservatives who say beer has more potential for abuse than wine.

Beer is “disproportionately consumed in hazardous amounts,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, director of the Christian Action League of N.C., which says beer accounts for 81 percent of all alcohol drunk in such excessive amounts.

It’s also “the beverage of choice for underage drinkers,” Creech told lawmakers.

This “[insert-item-here] of choice” logic2 seems to be something that anti-rights people share, whether they’re opposed to upstanding people possessing guns, sampling beer, or other similar things.

Just as a criminal using a handgun to rob a convenience store should have no bearing whatsoever on my ability to acquire, own, and use handguns in a safe, responsible manner, underage drinkers drinking beer3 should have no bearing whatsoever on whether or not an adult should be able to go to a public beer tasting.

Do some people drink alcohol to excess? Absolutely. Does beer make up the majority of alcohol drunk to excess? I have no idea, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true. Is beer the “beverage of choice” for underage drinkers? I don’t doubt it. Even so, those claims do not matter, because we’re talking about beer tasting in licensed retail stores by adults. The law even limits someone to four (down from six) 2-ounce samples (which I find absurd) per event — that’s two-thirds of a single can of beer. What’s the problem here?

Remember, gun control isn’t about guns — it’s about control. The same thing goes for alcohol control laws.

Anyone find any other topics where “[something] of choice” was an argument used by someone trying to make or keep something illegal or restricted? What about citing the illegal actions and behaviors of minors or criminals in an attempt to restrict the actions of law-abiding adults?

  1. I hate using that term, as the default state of rights is “on” — laws shouldn’t ever need to “allow” something, as all actions that don’t infringe on others rights are, by default, “on” unless a law exists that restricts them. []
  2. It’s hardly logical. []
  3. Most likely because it’s cheap and “gets the job done.” []