Would Legalized Dueling be a Benefit to Modern Societies

I have a definite belief that this would be one of the few true cures for our society as a whole. In the book, “Beyond this Horizon” by popular science fiction author, Robert A Heinlein, he portrays a society similar to the wild west, where in duels were both supervised in public arenas, and unsupervised in public places, with the only caveat being that if you cheated, those around you just may take action. Duels were only allowed unsupervised with what would basically be described as a laser pistol. He emphasizes the need for this society to maintain good manners, as size would not matter, because with a gun, the great equalizer, speed matters. One would think two or three times before being rude to a stranger, not knowing if he could out shoot you. This society also offered a way to be immune to being challenged. One was to be a peace officer, allowed to carry a weapon, but not allowed to be challenged. The other was to wear a brassard. This exempted you from being challenged, but would bear the onus of not being able to take up for yourself. For example, if you were wearing a brassard, and waiting in line, an armed person could cut in front of you, and you would have absolutely no recourse. I do not agree with many of these things, however, but the principle is great. As time went by, evolution would create a better society. Women would be more attracted to men who went armed, yet these men would be better mannered, and stronger, as only more viable men would survive long enough to breed, that is, men with more self control, yet with the ability to perform well in a crunch.

There would be, in my mind at least, many better ways to achieve similar values.

To begin, duels should be limited to a public arena, agreed to by both sides, as a result of a formal, and published, challenge. For instance, as I drive down the road, I cut another person off. This person then flips me the bird. I decide that this is just unacceptable behaviour, I cut that person off to avoid an accident, and they could see that. Bu following them, or getting their tag number, I would now proceed to first issue a public challenge, printed in local papers, paid for by me. This would be followed by sending a friend of mine(known as a second) to inquire of the person who flipped me off if they wish to enter into a duel. If that person agrees, he/she would appoint a second of their own, to deal with my second in order to agree upon terms. The person issuing the challenge would then be forced to agree to whatever weapon the challenged person would like to fight with, and whether it is to the death, or first blood, or first broken bone, etc.

Unauthorized duels should be punishable by death.

It is important to state here that at any time, wither party can back down by having their second notify the other second, and by paying to issue a public apology, with no hard feelings allowed afterwards. If there is money, and/or property involved in the conflict, then the person who backs out must assume all financial liability. This should NOT supersede civil court, and dueling should not be allowed between two parties involved in a civil law suit.

Upon the day of the duel, it should be in public arena. This could be on the 1st and 3rd weekend of each month, or with whatever frequency demand requires. Tickets should be sold, as well as TV rights, in order to pay for referees and such. Vendors could rent space, and all the other money generating activities of public events should be allowed. This way, fairness would be insured. Referees should be paid large sums of money to discourage bribery, and should have the same types of accountability that judges work with. After the duel, if the loser still lives, then an apology must be issued to the winner, under penalty of death.

The benefits would be multitude.

Fairness in the form of referees, and the challenged to pick the weapons. A gunfighter would be at a loss to a black belt, and vice versa.

Good manners would reach a new plateau, since one would never want to offend someone who can out do you, and possibly kill you fairly.

The art of apology and reconcile would reach new heights as well.

The public duels would be a stimulus to the economy.

No one would have to participate in a duel, only those strongly believing that they are in the right would be unwilling to back down from a possible death.

What point would many of the violence happenings on the streets, when punishable by death, when a challenge will suffice.

Violence is part of human nature. This would allow that violence to be agreed upon by two adults, and vent many feelings for the audience as well.

All in all, the world would be a better, and kinder place for day to day life.