“For long the two enemies looked at one another, Hook shuddering slightly, and Peter with the strange smile upon his face.
“So, Pan,” said Hook at last, “this is all your doing.”
“Ay, James Hook,” came the stern answer, “it is all my doing.”
“Proud and insolent youth,” said Hook, “prepare to meet thy doom.”
“Dark and sinister man,“For long the two enemies looked at one another, Hook shuddering slightly, and Peter with the strange smile upon his face.
“Dark and sinister man,” Peter answered, “have at thee.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
The men we descended from knew there were things worth dying for. Family, country, freedom, honor, ideals, pride, and passion all played a role in making someone who they were. For years disputes had ways to be settled. Two well armed gentlemen, standing in a field gripping a weapon and agreeing on one thing, “One of us has to go“. It’s noticeable that somewhere between men of the rugged frontier dressed only in things they killed, and working at a cupcake shop wearing Ninja Turtle sneakers, men lost their passion.
I believe the reason is obvious: No Stakes. Once upon a time, Vice President Aaron Burr killed Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in a duel. President Andrew Jackson had bullets from dueling in his body that he lived with till his death. There were particular differences and ideas men felt so strongly about, and certain insults men couldn’t abide so much so that we had a system understanding that sometimes the world wasn’t big enough for 2 particular men. It’s how the country was built. Now, every day we hurl the most ruthless and insufferable insults at each other online and there are no consequences to the amount of bad ideas and shit talk. The answer is obvious: Bring Back Dueling.
Now, before I get accused of secretly fantasizing about murder and having a sick bloodlust I’d like to walk through the logic of dueling benefits and regulations:
-Both Parties must agree to the duel. Otherwise every gang banger who shoots some guy for breathing to hard on his sneakers will say “I was just dueling him”. If you have any inclination to the free market you will believe that 2 adults sound of mind should be able to enter into any contract they see fit. This is just a high stakes contract.
–The duels must be witnessed from beginning to end. I suggest giving this job to a notary. What the fuck are they doing anyway? The lady at the bank will draw up the contract, go over the agreed upon rules with both parties, inspect the weapons, make sure there’s no cheating, and declare the winner which will really spice up her day. Plus going through this process might make the parties involved think about how import the dispute actually is or isn’t, and with these stakes involved it would prompt them to possibility move passed it instead of stewing on it for life unresolved.
-There will be different levels of Dueling. Level one will be “Fisticuffs”. Not to the death. Sometimes men simply need to beat the piss out of each other. It is natural and good for the soul. Men should have a way to do this and not fear arrest. Level two is “First Blood”. This will deal in knives swords or blunt instruments. Rules are simple: First man to bleed loses. Level three is of course, “To the Death“. This can also be handled with sharp or blunt objects, but likely will be done with pistols. No machine guns, or shot guns. Pistols. No more than 6 in a clip. Whether or not to be allowed to reload will be left up to the participants. And think of the enterprising gun manufactures who will customize weapons specifically for duels.
-The agreed parties must have legal, registered weapons they personally pay for and provide. There will be no state provided hardware. We’re not Communists. If one party can’t afford a gun, the rival party may provide them with one. Imagine being so pissed off you buy someone you hate a gun they might kill you with.
-Every individual is restricted to 1 duel every 30 days.
-If there is any addition damage caused by the duel, or medical expenses caused by non-fatal duels, they must be paid for by the dueling parties. This may be put into the contract ahead of time like “loser pays for the stitches”.
-Once a duel is over the dispute is settled. The parties may attached additional clauses to the duel license, such as “If I Win, you apologize to my wife” or “If I Win, I get your jet ski”. Failure to make good on the gentlemen’s agreement will be punishable in court.
Some people will hate this proposal and think it’s cruel, savage , and barbaric. To you I say “My body, my choice“. If you don’t like the idea of settling arguments to the death, don’t agree to a duel… but hands off the bodies of the men who want to settle it the old fashion way.
The world is full of people of all sorts of opinions who simply have never been punched properly in the face. They face no consequences and calling them a coward for not facing them means nothing. Duels will solve that. The world is full of disputes that will never be settled, this will settle them. The world is full of people who don’t know about respect and don’t know about boundaries; here’s a solution. At very least, it’s a clean, legal way to purge some assholes who are never called on their rhetoric and fake bravado. Dueling will finally separate the men from the boys, and the talkers from the doers. All we need is an elected official who might get behind this.