How is it that we no longer settle our political disputes with a duel? It has to be the finest way ever invented to get the last word in. And where else but the United States Congress could this be the best way to show your constituents how valuable you are to them?
On February 24th, 1838, Rep William Graves (KY) shot Rep Jonathan Cilley (ME) in the leg over a claim by Cilley that Graves' patron (a NY newspaper baron) was bribing Congressmen. Cilley was shot in the leg and bled out quickly. Shortly after a federal law was passed prohibiting dueling (in DC anyway).
What a shame. Sure a guy was dead but nobody else is going to challenge Graves (and his boys) of anything. Imagine how quickly the health care debate could have been solved. Or even how we may never has had to be subjugated to these awful GOP debates. Surely Santorum, Romney, Gingrich, and definitely Paul would have been called out to the fields and left bleeding many years ago. Surprisingly that would have left us with a race between Pawlenty and Huntsman.
But can we go up to the attic and dust off the white gloves and Colt revolver and head outside to get some fresh air? Every state in the union eventually followed suit (the South took a while longer than everyone else). The Federal law specifically refers to DC, but seeing as how Congress isn't shy about dabbling in the District's affairs, maybe we could work out an exemption? Maybe even stretch the line into neighboring Maryland or Virginia? Hummm...
Well as a Bay State resident, I can tell you that we are out of the running. The gun laws here are tight. The only loophole is if the contestants headed to Prince Georges County, where two people shooting at each other wouldn't raise a whole lot of eyebrows. Coincidentally, the 1838 duel took place there (Bladensburg dueling grounds). But our backwater redneck neighbors to the south might really go for it. Virginia has always been a bit more open minded when it comes to gun ownership (close minded in every other kind of right). In fact they just rescinded a law allowing only one handgun a month. Besides nobody can defend their home with just one 9mm, 15 shot, semi automatic Glock9. You need a gun in every room, just in case somebody breaks into your house when your on the can. If you don't have a Saturday night special in the medicine cabinet you could get jacked.
So back to the duel. You remember this post is about the duel (or Alice's Restaurant). Why don't we kick all the illegal immigrants out of Shirlington and the Walter Tejada Memorial Day Laborer Pavilion. Flatten the area and you've got a great dueling grounds. Plus the Wieene Beenie is right there so you can grab a chili halfsmoke before main event. There's even a supermarket if you wanted some picnic foods. Lay out a blanket and take in all the gory action!
Sounds like a party to me!