Lesson #307: Dueling is not, in fact, legal in Paraguay (in case you were worried about your upcoming trip)

Earlier today, I came across this. For those of you too lazy to be bothered, it’s a page from the Chicago Tribune with a line that reads: “In Paraguay, pistol dueling is legal as long as both parties are registered blood donors.”

Quoi?!?

My first thought was, ‘this has to be one of those bizarre old laws that’s still on the books.’ My second thought was, ‘what difference does their donor status make? No one gets blood from dead people!’

As I have no Paraguayan friends to whom I can pose this question, I went looking.

Now, I’m good at research; if it exists online, I can find it. It might take me a bit of time, but if it exists, I’ll eventually get there. I did find a source (dubious, naturally) that expounded that by law the duel must be registered with the authorities and medical staff must be present, but I couldn’t find any legitimate source to verify this.

Let it be known that I put more time into this than was reasonable for something I quickly figured out was not actually an old law still on the books. But I have a compulsive need for proper information, so once I’d abandoned the search for validity on the law as stated, I went looking for any sort of legal documentation to refute it. 

In the end, I finally came across this page. It seems the Mississippi Library Commission went ahead and called the Paraguayan Embassy to ask and were assured that there is no truth to this “fact”.

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