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a friend of mine who operates online under the pseudonym of "minstrel boy" offered the following thoughts to a groups of us yesterday, and when I asked gave me permission to offer them here:

a progressive legislator should bring a bill that would legalize dueling.  if, two people who have a grievance, get together and agree to a supervised duel to settle matters it should be legal.

as usual the challenged party would have choice of weapons (there is existing law on this from spain's "code duello" english common law's "wager of battle" or the "irish form"  that could be used nearly unchanged).  also, women and untouchable figures like the president, would be able to appoint champions.

the best part?  you could sell it as tort reform!

bringing this, which i would hope has zero chance of ever being enacted, would highlight the complete insanity of the right while exposing the horrific consequences of right to concealed carry and stand your ground laws.

since most legislatures don't do anything beyond bullshit anyway it could be a wonderfully diverting piece of theatre.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (33+ / 0-)

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:08:37 AM PST

  •  We already have that. (9+ / 0-)

    It's called the military. rich people playing chess with wars for lucre outside our borders and sending "champions" to do the work.

    In my opinion, it is way over utilized. We also have the Praetorian guard of Blackwater/Xe/Wekeepchangingournamebecausewe'recrooks.

  •  If there are going to be "protectors" to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, Justus, hnichols

    secure (tie down or lock up) the population, there has to be a threat for justification. If there are no external aggressors massing at the borders, the aggression has to be from inside. People with weapons that threaten random mayhem are an ideal occurance when violent crime is otherwise on the wane. They justify the continued employment of police and an assortment of other "security" personnel, much as vehicular crashes justify the continued employment of firemen and other EMS personnel. Then too, vehicular crashes provide a steady stream of customers to emergency rooms and orthopedic surgeons, presumably paid for by automobile insurance premiums.
    Have you noticed that nowhere in the health care debate has there been talk of foliding medical premiums for vehicular crashes into the system and "saving" that routine expense? Automobile insurance is a cash cow, especially as long as there are no transportation alternatives in much of the country.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:06:02 AM PST

    •  Weird truth (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justus, hannah, hnichols, sow hat

      You would have to experience England's roads to believe them. Aside from the big motorways (like interstates but squinchier), roads generally don't have shoulders and often buildings, walls, hedges, ditches, etc. are inches away. Trees grow overhead and are "trimmed" by passion semi-trucks (lorries). People park out in the road in town and one lane of traffic eases by. Speed limits change abruptly with no warning. There are permanent CCTV speed cameras occasionally, but people generally know where they are and slow down, otherwise they randomly drive either very fast or very slow depending on their age and mood. About twice a year the traffic cops come out and hang around on bridges with radar guns, but other than that you never see them. Despite this our traffic fatalities are few and far between. If there is a big crash on the motorway, it's big news locally and sometimes nationwide.
      I guess my question is, do cops cause accidents? Every time I go back to the States I see more cops and bad accidents between Fort Worth and Dallas than I'd see in a year here.

      "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

      by northsylvania on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:52:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Value of driving (5+ / 0-)

        A couple of things stand out.

        The cost of driving in England means that you have a smaller group of drivers, as well as more mature drivers.  

        My kid will be 16 this year, and there is no way in hell he is going to drive our cars.  

        I am going to guess that England, like other European countries has much stricter standards for what it takes to keep a car on the road.  

        Waaaaay better driver training.  In Germany, waaaay back in 1996, a driver needed to complete a serious driving course in order to get a license.  

        If you turn 18 here, you can walk in and take the test without any sort of training.  It may be the case that you can do that at 16, but that may be something that is determined by state.

        Also, Texas.

        Streichholzschächtelchen

        by otto on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:06:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I took a course here that lasted (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          teacherken

          three months of weekly three hour sessions, and I had already been driving a stick shift in the States. I did pass on my first try; most people don't. 18 year olds do drive here though, fairly frequently. If you're learning, you have big L plates on your car which warns people not to run over you.

          "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

          by northsylvania on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:39:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Why not do it ??? With an insurance (7+ / 0-)

    proviso.

    Require parties to obtain binding insurance for their medical expenses.

    Freedom! Liberty! Insanity!

    With modern weapons, why not? I'm sure the Social Darwinists would approve.

    "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

    by bontemps2012 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:16:17 AM PST

  •  I'm so freaking tired of the drama of distraction. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Justus, liz dexic

    wish we could expend all the drama energy on action instead of theatre.  we do ourselves and our children a disservice by being so inclined to such unnessary games.

    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." *Ansel Adams* ."Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."*Will Rogers*

    by Statusquomustgo on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:36:01 AM PST

  •  A little over the top, but... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, Mighty Ike, elmo, liz dexic

    If you could be sure that the damm fools in Congress wouldn't just go: "Hey, that's a GREAT idea" and pass it...

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:40:54 AM PST

  •  Former (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimraff, teacherken

    Georgia Governor Zell Miller expressed a wish for they days of duels a few years back, so I think the irony would be wasted in the red states.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 05:07:04 AM PST

  •  Actually, I think that is an idea that might be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic, teacherken, greenotron

    worth actually doing under limited conditions.  To be specific, when a corporation sues an individual person that individual can opt for trial by combat by dueling the executive or board member of the individual's choice (and he or she gets to choose the weapons used, not the executive/board member).

    You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

    by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:28:29 AM PST

  •  The problem with moving the needle on crazy... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic, teacherken

    Is the same one Stewart, Colbert, et. al. are having with satire: keeping up with reality. Crazy has become the new normal. The Sequester or the debt ceiling fights would have been considered unthinkable a few years ago. Not any more. The Overton Window has now been shoved to a place where it looks directly into the looney bin of conservative thought framed by clueless media - and they treat it all as unquestionable.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:59:38 AM PST

  •  I know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken

    several people who teach stage combat, this might give them extra employment.

    RESCU Foundation Inc ~ Pledged to the health of the company. www.RESCUfoundation.org

    by liz dexic on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 07:30:49 AM PST

  •  I think it would pass in Virginia (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, greenotron

    There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it. ~Author Unknown

    by VA Breeze on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:04:47 AM PST

  •  Why Conceal-Carry (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, greenotron

    I once asked some of the gun enthusiasts why they favored concealed-carry licenses over open-carry.  It seemed to me that if you want to warn off the bad guys, making sure everyone saw that you are armed would be an important part of being secure (Remember why the "Doomsday Device" in Dr. Strangelove wasn't going to stop any wars?).  

    What the gun enthusiasts told me was very enlightening.  They said that MOST states do not allow open-carry, and ONLY offer concealed-carry licenses.  And they told me that openly carrying a gun puts a person in danger (think of it this way: in any armed confrontation, the guy with the gun becomes the first target for both bad guys AND the police).

    So carrying around a gun puts the gun-carrier at risk.  

    Which is exactly what those opposed to the free availability of guns have been saying all along, that possessing a gun increases the risk of a gun injury.  And there are also a couple of empiric studies that have arrived at the same conclusion.

    So there is both legal and scientific evidence that carrying a gun increases the risk of gun injuries.

    Ignoring the evidence, gun enthusiasts still claim they "feel" safer when they carry a gun.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:16:34 AM PST

  •  Go for it -- terrific idea (0+ / 0-)

    All those with guns - should love this, right?

    Natural selection for sure

    "Proud to proclaim: I am a Bleeding Heart Liberal"

    by sara seattle on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:35:29 PM PST

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