Kentucky Prohibits First Responders From Dueling

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Originally, this post was about a debate over a Kentucky law that requires the state Office of Homeland Security to give God credit for being a vital member of its staff. Section 39G.010(2)(a) of the Kentucky Statutes requires the office's executive director to "publicize" a legislative finding that "reliance upon Almighty God" is a necessary component of homeland security, by, among other things, putting up a plaque.  Nothing at all wrong with depending on God — especially if the alternative is FEMA — but I thought mandating a government proclamation about it seemed a little odd.

I decided it was more interesting, though, that under a related law (which I noticed while researching the above), all emergency responders in Kentucky are required to swear an oath not only that they will uphold the Constitution, but also that they have not been involved in a duel:

Each person who is appointed to serve in an organization for disaster and emergency response shall, before entering upon his or her duties, take an oath . . . as follows:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth . . . ;

And I do further solemnly swear (or affirm) that since the adoption of the present Constitution, I, being a citizen of this state, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this state, nor out of it, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, nor aided or assisted any person thus offended, so help me God."

Hamilton-Burr Duel
Ky. Rev. Stat. 39A.210.  Has there been a problem in Kentucky with emergency responders showing up and getting involved in a duel?  Please advise.

This law can't be explained as one of those Civil-War-era statutes that has just never been taken off the books, because it was passed in 1998.  And looking at the oath more closely, they don't even have to swear that they won't duel — it just says they haven't dueled in the past.  Something to consider, I guess, before you call 911 in Kentucky.