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A Position on Dueling
Posted By Jason Couch On January 2011 @ 6:42 am In Asides | No Comments
Will Munny: It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he’s got and all he’s ever gonna have.
The Schofield Kid: Yeah, well, I guess they had it coming.
Will Munny: We all got it coming, kid.
A typical refrain amongst the young bucks, especially those with some weapons experience, is that a revival of the dueling traditions would make for a safer, or at least politer, society. Personally I think that attitude is (dead!) wrong because some folks will always be knuckleheads and dueling would just give them a greater opportunity for their knuckleheadery. After all, there’s a big difference between a young fella who thinks he has nothing to lose and someone with a family to support.
But the real reason I’m against dueling is that, even though there might be something said for going out doing the things you enjoyed, I could easily see myself as a less illustrious version of one of these guys. And, while it makes for a good story, when it’s all said and done would you really want to be in either one’s place?:
In 1719, in London (Eng.), Captain William Aldworth, of the army, and Owen Buckingham, member of Parliament, met, and dined, and quarrelled, and fought, all in one evening. It was so dark that they could not see each other, and they were so thoroughly well intoxicated that it did not make much difference whether they did or did not see each other; but, all the same, there was one less member of Parliament the following morning, for Buckingham was found by some friends shortly after the fight, pierced to the heart with his antagonist’s rapier, and Aldworth near by very drunk and covered with wounds.
Truman, Benjamin Cummings. The Field of Honor (1883).
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