[Disclaimer: This is a satirical news piece, just for fun, read at your own risk!]

New Rule: Congressmen May to Duel to the Death

Ever the gun-lovers, Republicans now allow pistols to be used to settle differences, and representatives may duel to the death.

Some Congressmen in the U.S. House of Representatives are finally getting what they’ve always wanted and deserved, gunfights. They may now duel to the death.

duel to the death
Republicans want to go back to the good ol’ days, only better. This 1856 cartoon by J.L. Magee depicts Rep. Brooks’ attack on Sen. Sumner, Public Domain.

A secret new rule adopted as Rep. Kevin McCarthy was being elected Speaker of the House January 8th will allow political enemies to fight each other until one kills the other. The agreement says one great way differences can be settled is for members to challenge each other to a duel on the House floor using pistols at 20 paces.

The rule was sponsored by far-right Republican members of the House. McCarthy agreed to the measure in a concession to the right-wingers to finally get himself elected House Speaker on the 15th ballot.

“I can’t wait to beat some stupid Communist Democrat to a pulp,” diplomatically said one of the far-right House Republicans, who asked to remain anonymous. But if needed, he added, “I’ve got my pistol locked and loaded to finally get rid of the bastard once and for all.”

During one of the votes for Speaker, Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama almost came to blows with far-right Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. Rogers said he was incensed at his fellow Republican for “treating McCarthy so badly. So, I just walked over to Gaetz and said, ‘I’m not going to forget this.’” It appeared the two Republicans were about to descend into fisticuffs when another Congressman grabbed Rogers from behind and pulled him backward.

“Boy, that would have been really wonderful to watch those two go at it,” gleefully said another fellow Republican watching the action in the House chamber. “Personally speaking, I wanted Rogers to kick Gaetz’s butt.”

A spokesman for the National Rifle Association said with the new rule in place, all Congressmen should welcome the fact that if brawling doesn’t go far enough, they now can settle their differences on the House floor with pistols.

“Finally, patriotic American Congressmen are being given their 2nd Amendment rights to use guns on the House floor to get even and duel to the death,” said the NRA spokesman.

Another Congressman, also asking for anonymity, added, “Enough with all this namby-pamby B.S. talking and negotiating long into the night to get what we want. The best way to end it is to just shoot the jerk once and for all. That’s the way they used to do it, so we hail this new rule all real Americans have been asking for.”

Allowing for pistols to settle differences by our distinguished American representatives revives a long-accepted practice best represented by harking back to July 1804 when political enemies Vice President Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton dueled with Burr killing Hamilton with a shot to the abdomen. But one might say Hamilton got his revenge when he starred in the blockbuster Broadway musical “Hamilton” that won 11 Tony awards in 2016.

Besides using guns, political rivals may also bring back using canes in Congress to knock their enemies senseless. That’s what occurred in 1856 when pro-slavery South Carolina Rep. Preston Brooks walked over to abolitionist Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner and whacked him in the head with a cane and then proceeded to beat the anti-slavery Northerner unconscious. Brooks sauntered off the floor of Congress with nary a House colleague stopping him.

“It was a matter of honor,” Brooks later told prying reporters who asked if he had any regrets about what he had done. Foreshadowing the lyrics from the Frank Sinatra song, “My Way,” Brooks said, “Regrets? I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do.”

After regaining consciousness, unconfirmed reports said Sumner wanted to duel to the death and get an AK-47 to blast Brooks to smithereens, but was talked out of it by none other than Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln told Sumner to “just calm down, we’ll get even with that cracker Brooks when we beat his damn South in the Civil War.”

On that score, reports from that era said Congressmen commonly carried pistols or Bowie knives when they stepped onto the congressional floor.

Supposedly the most infamous floor brawl in the history of the U.S. House occurred in February 1858 when a Pennsylvania Republican with the strange name of Galusha Grow and South Carolina Democrat Laurence Keitt exchanged insults, then blows. Eventually, more than 30 members joined in the fun.

“That was the way true he-men resolved their differences,” a House Republican told reporters after McCarthy’s election as Speaker. “For too long, all we did in this stupid place was talk and talk and talk some more and never get anywhere. Now, Praise the Lord, we can finally do what God wants us to do and that’s blow our enemies away. It’s about freaking time.”

Eric Green