Bring back dueling

A Casual Proposal

MAJ Cosmo Taormina and I were having a bit of a philosophical conversation the other day.  I was upset… deeply upset (Actually, that is not true.  I was, frankly, somewhat amused.) at a poor Yelp review we had received.


The author, “Mr. B,” had emailed me last week after the blog email went out demanding that he be removed from the email list.  He was outraged that after purchasing a Groupon, and coming in for a Pistol Series class, we would have the temerity to email him “right wing propaganda”.


Confused at his assertion, I emailed him and informed him that I would be more than happy to remove him from our email list.  I queried him as to what exactly I had said that could be construed as “right wing” since I have always fashioned myself as more of a devotee of classical liberalism.


He never responded to me directly, instead turning to Yelp to voice his displeasure… and to suggest that “Orange County was blue.”  (I am assuming he was referencing the last election and not a psychological state.)


“This feigned outrage and casual throwing around of labels has got to come to an end!”  I yelled, slamming my empty whiskey glass down on the Queen Anne table.


The Major looked up from his reading, framed neatly in his wing-backed chair, and gently removed his cigar from his mouth.  Looking at me over his reading glasses, he dismissively waved his cigar…


“That is why we need to bring back dueling.”


“Excuse me?”


“Settle this as we have done for centuries:  weapon of choice, each combatant with his (or her) second… and satisfaction at ten paces!”




“Yes!  You see it!  There is an elegance in this, no?!”  The Major leaned forward, becoming more excited.  Clearly, I had taken the bait.


“Think of the social benefits!  If someone says something that offends someone… really offends him, then the aggrieved party is entitled to demand satisfaction!  When the offended class realizes that if it publicly acts on its outrage, it may very well be meeting the object of its ire in the misty early morning along the banks of the river!”


“What if the aggrieved party asks for satisfaction and the offender refuses to participate?”


The Major slumped back in his chair and looked toward the fireplace.  He took a draw on his cigar.  He thought about my question for a few minutes then, finally, sadly uttered, “You’ve got me, Captain.  I’m not sure anything can be done, save the loss of honor of the offender, and I am not sure he had any to begin with.”


(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here…)


“Wait!  We are looking for classic nongovernmental remedies in a post-modern environment, correct?”


The major leaned forward seeing where I was going.


“What is the one thing that the modern offender yearns for more than anything?”


“Political suppression?”


“Perhaps… but more specific to the individual?”


“The feeling of moral superiority?”


“Yes!… and how does he or she seek out that moral superiority?”


“Posting on the internet!”


“Exactly, Major!  So… along with reestablishing the ancient tribunal of the duel, we also legislatively mandate that all profiles on the internet be ‘true’ identities so that the authors are knowable and traceable.  If the author is challenged to a duel, and he fails to participate, then he becomes persona non grata on the internet.  He is prohibited from having a profile on any platform… for a poster without honor deserves no right of forum.”


The Major puffed on his cigar.


“I am being persuaded.  What weapons are to be used?”


“We are modern creatures, are we not?  For those with a certain elan, swords and muzzle-loading pistols to be sure.  For those who are not devotees of the romantic… semi-automatic pistols.”


“Pour yourself another whiskey, Captain.  We have much to discuss!”

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Comments (8)

  • Kohei Fujimura Reply

    So does this mean you’re going to be offering duelling as part of the pistol sequence?

    Also, would the weapon of choice be limited to roster pistols? Or as long as you can legally own it, you can use it?

    07/31/2019 at 08:00
  • Patti Fieberg Reply

    Steven: your creativity coupled with a firm grasp of reality is refreshing . I wish is your rational thought would permeate the skulls of so many not only in Orange County but across this country before it is too late. Paul (former student and big fan)

    07/31/2019 at 08:39
  • Ken Anderson Reply

    Dueling, It would truly cut down on the cost of divorce court! As for Orange county being “Blue”. I’ve lived here over 45 years and I along with anyone I deal is as “RED” as we can get! There are things you may go off on at times that make me scratch my head, but being liberal is not one of them..
    Thanks for your work..

    07/31/2019 at 08:45
  • Ron Reply

    Brilliant, as usual, Steve! Always good reading…. Cheers!

    07/31/2019 at 09:01
  • Tom Williams Reply

    Yep and the beat goes on. Idiots and cowards will always be themselves and hide behind whatever they can find, Be well.

    07/31/2019 at 10:14
  • Dan Reply


    07/31/2019 at 14:50
  • Darren Charest Reply

    Steven, I’ve attended multiple classes at Artemis via Groupon and so has my wife who also did her CCW class with Artemis — frankly I wish I would have too because your class is far superior to the one I attended. I also read your blog and it’s exceptional regardless of one’s political beliefs. It’s how I untangle the nonsense of things like “standard capacity” magazines i.e. what California calls “high capacity” i.e. when they became “unbanned” for a while and how that all occurred was really-really interesting to read about from an attorney’s perspective…and no one covered it like you did.

    My point is, you and what your company does is simply amazing. How someone could go on Yelp to complain because of email(s) is a bizarre anomaly of a customer that likely has a habit of complaining about trivial nonsense to get a rise out of people. Your emails include a link “unsubscribe from this list”, so Mr. Complainer could just click said link and cease his public complaining…but doing that would not make the kind of waves he’s hoping for.

    Both my wife and I are really pleased with all we’ve learned at Artemis. The quality of your instructors and the awesome facility is a real gem. I have a family member about to go into the LA Sheriff’s Academy and I’ve spoken to him at length about how I’d like to see him do some training at Artemis (especially on the simulator), it could save his life!

    Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t give a second thought to naysayers. I’ve yet to review Artemis on Yelp, I’ll be doing so in the near future.

    07/31/2019 at 16:39
  • Mark E. Edmiston Reply

    If your greatest crime is to be “right wing” in a “blue” county… count me in!

    08/01/2019 at 21:02

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