Canada May Legalize Dueling, Conflict-Resolution Bloodsport of Kings

En garde, eh

By Kirk Miller

 
Duel
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12 June 2017

Forget fighting wars on Twitter. Let's channel the spirit of Aaron Burr and settle our disputes with a duel.

Well, not here, but close by: Canada is considering legislation that would (theoretically) legalize duelling. A legislator up north recently introduced C-51, a bill that would update and remove 20 different criminal offenses, including, yes, the right to a duel. Currently, the country’s criminal code makes it illegal to “challenge or attempt by any means to provoke another person to fight a duel.” Were this bill to pass, you could potentially go old-school and both challenge and/or accept an affair of honor. 

Huge caveat: Any consequences from said battle would still be punishable, in regards to murder, weapons possession, etc. (no word on grannies wielding canes).

This is one of many “funny” updates to antiquated sections of Canada’s Criminal Code, which includes some more serious legislation about libel, prosecutorial shortcuts and criminal sentencing. But let’s stick with the fun! Other “obsolete” sections of the Criminal Code that could be amended or repealed by C-51 include fraudulently pretending to practice witchcraft, issuing trading stamps or advertising a reward for the return of stolen property “no questions asked.” Crime comics (basically, pulp comic books like Dick Tracy) would also be made legal.

Call it the Wild, Wild North.

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