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To no one’s surprise, violence in America is of great concern. In fact, Gallup released a report that 72% of Americans believe crime rates will rise within the year. With the recent shut in of the majority of the population, it is common to turn on each other. There is a lack of trust, our neighbor is a suspect, and all people want to do sometimes is give someone a really good smack. The average person is not alone in their anger and this, understandably, may scare the majority of the population. This is why, as a society, dueling should make a comeback — the age old practice of honorable revenge. 

People quarrel. However, the way in which people quarrel defines modern civility. The media plays unending bad news where people continuously hurt each other, whether it’s gun violence, road rage or even parking lot fist fights on Black Friday. Dueling is a long lost tradition that allowed the common person to make violence socially acceptable by making it about honor. A tradition that entails swooning women, or men, flowing pirate blouses and swords heavier than anything you could purchase at an IKEA. Instead of fighting unceremoniously with your neighbor over a missing Amazon package and potentially calling the police, bring out some old muskets and handle the situation like civil people. Of course, the blood shed may be the same, but at least you’ll resemble the hot guy on Bridgerton for a few brief moments.

Society has allotted rules of social civility often thought to be archaic and really only followed by boomers with money. Duels have a rigid set of rules set out initially by the King Gundebald of Burgundy. During his reign he declared that irreconcilable differences may be settled through combat. No one would know or understand more about civility than an old rich monarch. 

Take into consideration all those times people can and have been slighted, a neighbor’s dog pooped in the wrong yard, a family member didn’t do the dishes even though they said they would or maybe the Fedex guy tossed a package into the yard even though it clearly says fragile on the box. Rather than silently penting up the anger and the rage, instead, challenge the Fedex guy to a duel! Relieve your therapist of their duties and take up a weapon of choice for a cinematic scrimmage with your grandma.

James Demonaco’s The Purge is a fantastic allegory for relieving the same pent up emotional drudgeries that could be otherwise quenched by a good duel. This 2013 film portrays everyday citizens that take up arms and flesh out their grievances on a government approved holiday. This is an exaggerated solution to the dilemmas laid out previously, however the movie did give viewers some notions to think about. For example, the film renders a set of rules that must be followed within its cinematic universe in order for the purge to work correctly. Similar to dueling, the rules set the standard of its validity. And while the violence in the movie is nowhere near as Hamilton-esque of a dueling match, there is still a great deal of humanizing vengeance. 

Violence is a never ending and true part of the human experience. Whether one wishes to push away the notion with therapy, spirituality or the newest iphone. Undoubtedly, there is something that needs to be done about the rise in hostility and distrust. Dueling funnels all that energy into a picturesque scene that could be enjoyed at dinner parties, on your estate, in a concert hall or even a Wendy’s parking lot. Dueling is the answer to the rising anger flitting within your hearts. Instead of ignoring it completely, lean into it and make a scene with the one who has scorned you. Dueling is an inevitable artform that can bring about absolute peace solidarity, as well as a more aesthetic public. Whether it’s swords or a musket– people should knock on their neighbor’s door today and challenge them to a duel!