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I Challenge You To A Duel! (Just Not In Rhode Island)

If your honor has been besmirched, or if someone has 14 items in the “10 items or less” line, and “rock, paper, scissors” just won’t do, consider challenging the offender to a duel. If you are in Rhode Island, though, try flipping a coin. DO NOT CHALLENGE YOUR OPPONENT TO A DUEL.

Merely challenging a person to a duel will get you 1-7 years in jail, as will accepting the challenge, whether the duel is fought or not! And don’t ask your friend to set it up. That offense is punishable by up to 5 years in jail.

Undeterred, you decide to have the duel anyway, netting you another 1-7 years. Go alone. Anyone who helps you, acts as your second, or comes as your “surgeon,” is looking at up to 5 years.

Jail time or not, you will not be denied. So you decide to have the duel in another state. Vengeful? Yes. Stupid? Perhaps. If you have the duel in another state, and injure your equally clever opponent, who then dies in Rhode Island, you have just committed murder! And both seconds are accessories to murder.

True, one guy may be dead. But on the plus side, a score has been settled, and you and the seconds may be off the hook. If you were smart enough to pick a state that does not frown upon dueling (oh, maybe Virginia – one of the 29 states where an ordinary citizen can get a permit to walk around with a concealed handgun) and that state clears you of wrongdoing, you walk baby!

If you are thinking that dueling is outdated, and that you’ll just meet your opponent for an old-fashioned, bare-knuckled fight, think again. “Fighting by appointment” is punishable by up to 10 years or $5,000. In Rhode Island anyway, perhaps spontaneity is the best course. In Virginia, North Carolina, Idaho, Ohio, Louisiana, Florida … where some folks walk around with loaded handguns – perhaps not.