The Michigan Senate yesterday went soft on crime and voted to repeal the 1800s era law that made dueling a crime in our state.

So what, you say, there are assault crimes and other laws on the books that would seem to make dueling an arcane holdover from another era.

But wait…

We have watched the bloody battle of the state budget wondering just when it would explode into violence. Does anyone doubt that Senator Roger Kahn is not capable of rage should a 78-year-old grandmother or MSU college student get in his way (again)? Is it that far-fetched that Dr. Kahn might not challenge someone to a duel, since he clearly takes things like sharing an elevator or breathing the same air personally?

There’s really no shortage of arrogant hotheads like Kahn in the Legislature, although I admit he is a special case—a doctor who likes to scare people to death.

So what, you say, our tough guy Attorney General Mike “urban legend” Cox has a whole law library of crimes from which to charge a dueling lawmaker if such a need arises.

Not so fast…

There is only one law—one—on the books that not only makes dueling a felony, but actually bars anyone who challenges another to a duel from ever being “elected to office or appointed to any place of honor.”

That is the dueling law the Senate voted to repeal yesterday.

Do we really want lawmakers who have honed their skills at slashing Medicaid, education and police budgets to remain free to serve even if they slice each other or us up with dueling swords?

On guard people!