Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Harkening Back to a Simpler Time

Fellow Americans, one of our great national pastimes is fading away. Yes, I am speaking of good-natured-old-fashioned pistol dueling. This sport, made so famous by Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, has fallen by the wayside, joining the ranks of cock fighting and “stop-sign target practice” as games now banned in the United States. Dueling has had a full and rich history in western civilization, stretching back as far as the 11th century A.D. and it is now time for us to embrace that history and revive the noblest of competitions.

Runoff elections: Who needs a recount when you can let your trusty dueling pistol be your “swing vote?”

The new gentleman’s sport: You tell me what’s more exciting: a one ounce golf ball traveling 70 meters per second, or a lead ball truckin’ at two times the speed of sound.

I plead the second: If we revived pistol dueling, no longer would our courts be muddled with cumbersome mistrials, and long inefficient lawsuits. Litigation would only last as long as it takes to count out thirty paces.

Of course, the opposition will protest at the thought of mortal combat, so compromises will need to be made. Fortunately, technology has advanced since the 11th century to allow for such successions. For example, we could trade out the lead slugs with less fatal rubber bullets often used in modern riot control. The weapons of choice could also be expanded to include other non-fatal equipment such as Tazers or tear gas grenades.

Pistol dueling almost made the news this past week, when an argument over a gambling debt between NBA Wizards players Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton came to a head. A few days after Crittenton threatened to shoot Arenas in his bad knee, Areanas responded by bringing his three guns to the locker room, laying them out on a table next to a sign telling Crittenton to “pick one.” Many have called these men immature, reckless and stupid. Arenas and Crittenton may have been reckless, but they are not stupid. They are visionaries, pioneers in the effort to bring legitimacy to the sport of pistol dueling through their connections to the NBA.

Unfortunately, no matter how far we come, it is unlikely that we will ever see a National Pistol Dueling Association. As you could imagine, the player’s hazard pay would be through the roof, making the NPDA a fiscal impossibility. Instead, it is on you, the American people to take the initiative. Pistol dueling will have to be a grassroots movement. Which one of you will rise to the challenge? Which of you will become the next Aaron Burr or Sundance Kid? Stand and be counted. Say to yourselves, “We demand satisfaction!”

Abe Pauls
Written by Abe Pauls

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