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A GOOD NONGOVERNMENTAL SOLUTION

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According to Tipper Gore, wife of the nation's vice president, the solution to the problem of underage drinking lies with the home, not with the government.

Well stated. Not only is it encouraging to see someone associated with the Clinton Administration looking away from government for a solution; it's also nice to have such a well-known youth advocate add a problem like this to her list of priorities.Her crusade against teen drinking was spurred by a recent USA Weekend survey that showed teenagers themselves rank alcohol as a greater problem among their peers than sex or drugs. They also said most of the abuse of alcohol takes place in the home, where many youths can find a ready supply without having to worry about looking old enough to buy it.

The mother of four children age 11 to 21, Gore said parents must have the courage to establish strict ground rules. She has forbidden her children to allow alcohol at parties they host, despite their complaints. She also wants parents to teach their children about the dangers associated with drinking, including the risk of developing alcoholism and the deadly consequences of drunken driving. The best government can do is to help by enforcing laws against underage drinking.

Gore has shown her concern for young people in recent years with her campaign against explicit lyrics in popular music. Her approach to underage drinking is an equally refreshing display of well-directed common sense.