HIGH TIDE: Is it time to revive the good ole duel?

Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 12:30 PM.

Today there are various dueling societies on the Internet — of course all in fun and amusement.

However, there is one chap that is well known in literary circles that has come to the reasonable approach that perhaps it’s time to revive the honorable art of dueling. Most states actually outlaw dueling while others file second-degree charges against the squabbling parties. But no one has challenged those statutes in a court of law. If assisted suicide can be legal, why not dueling? After all, both parties acknowledge that the loser could lose his very life.

Mr. Ryan Ruby, who writes for “Philosophy Now,” states that dueling could be the perfect solution to our current rancor since the practice tends to draw the legal and political minded.  He reasons that the courts are beset by docket backlogs that benefit attorneys to the detriment of their clients.  If the lawsuit claimants or legislators cannot agree and instead rely on never-ending court proceedings, why not let the fates choose the winner? 

He has a marvelous point. If an attorney is on your side as he claims, how far will he go? For a charge will he be your second? Time limits can solve the problem and if not settled in a designated period, why burden the courts and drain the client’s purse? Make a settlement on the field of honor that goes back to the Bible.

Most dueling societies today are more of the recreation medieval sword and shield type, but the ball and powder (paint ball) is slowly evolving.  I recall many eras ago in Memphis there was a  BB-gun dueling club. Participants would wear heavy sweaters, teeth protectors and diving masks to protect the eyes or they would don football helmets with plastic facemasks. They  would meet once a month.  I went to one event and loved it. The shaking hands, the seconds counting steps out loud and the exchange … then came the, OUCH!

Fair winds to ye matey.

Chick Huettel is a long-time Walton County resident, writer and artist. He is a member of a number of local organizations including the Emerald Coast Archeological Society.

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