In Praise of Duelling: Russia Brings it Back! By John Steele

     They were fighting to defend honour, family and country, six shooters strapped to their hips. The sun was intense as they stared each other down. Then they draw, and a man falls; a classic scene from a Clint Eastwood “Man with No Name” movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), the three-way stand-off (also similar theme in For a Few Dollars More (1965)):

     If that does not cure low T, nothing will! The manly art of the duel has gone in the West, but even US presidents were once into it, with President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), Donald Trump’s hero, having fought perhaps 100 duels, even offering opponents the first shot, and carrying one bullet so acquired for his life:

     The last dual fought in Australia was in 1851:

     In relatively modern times duels have been fought with special one shot duelling pistols, although gun fights in the wild west were with six shot revolvers, so in that era one was certain to kill or be killed. I like the fast draw myself rather than the classic stand and shoot which is a wee bit too posh for my tastes. Russia, the world’s most manly nation, looks set to restore manly honour, by re-establishing the duel:

“The Russian Liberal Democratic party has drafted a bill allowing for official duels and detailing rules for such combat. The move comes after the head of the National Guard challenged an opposition figure to a fight over slander. The motion, prepared and drafted by MP Sergey Ivanov states that a duel between Russian citizens should be possible – although it should by no means be deemed a normal way of settling scores.  “In recent times there is a tendency among civil servants to challenge citizens who express opinions that differ from the official point of view to duels. In order to systemize the main reasons of such challenges and the rules of actual duels we propose this bill,” the lawmaker wrote in the note attached with the draft. The lengthy code reads that a duel is a way to avenge an insult – and cannot be used in place of a court case.

It also reads that duels are only possible between citizens equal in their official positions and citizens who do not fall under the category of civil servants are completely excluded from the code. Ordinary citizens can violate civil servants’ rights, but not insult them, and therefore when someone working as a civil servant receives a challenge from someone who is not, the former can accept it only with a written sanction of his immediate boss, who must determine if a challenger “is worth the honor of fighting.” The code mentions three types of weapons that can be used in an official duel – sabers, small swords and pistols, participants can use their own weapons or rent them and are also free to determine various other conditions of their fight (distance from rival, duration, type of injury that should lead to its conclusion) “Poor training in use of weapons cannot become an excuse for rejecting a challenge or replacing the duel with other ways of settling accounts,” the draft reads. Disabled people, minors and people over 60 can officially put a substitute in their place when challenged and women are not allowed to participate in duels under the LDPR’s bill.”

    The duel need not be a death match with pistols, but could be an old style hand-to-hand combat:

     I think a battle with fists and feet would probably suit Australians better than either a gunfight or a battle with melee weapons, such as swords, Viking axes/shields, spears, or clubs. It is more primal and satisfying to use meat weapons, and most action movies based on a revenge theme usually have the hero and villain dropping their weapons and settling it man to man. What is there not to like in Russia: ice, wild bears, wolves, Vlad the lad Putin, beautiful women … I think I will go live in Russia, until Australia gets its own duelling!

     (As Uncle Len is spending some time in a psychiatric facility, it is my job to deliver a bit of satire and grim humour.)



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