I think a lot of the problems in public discourse (in real-life and online) arise from the fact that people don’t have to back up their words with action. That’s why I am usually more comfortable talking to a guy who has been punched in the face, or especially lost a fight, many times in their life. There is a humble reality-check that comes with that. Reality-checks like that can come in many ways, but fighting is a potent one.
I think fighting on the street (or anywhere) to resolve a conflict, when both people agree to it, is a great way to learn about the consequences of words except for the fact that people can get seriously hurt (or die). So I propose that Congress pass a bill legalizing street fighting but that it be regulated by the International Street Fighting Federation (ISFF) that will be a branch of the IBJJF ;-) The goal is to make illegal any techniques that can cause permanent bodily harm. No ground and pound on a hard surface, no slams, etc. If you do any of those things, you’ll go to jail, otherwise if both people agree to it, the fight is completely legal. You might get banged up pretty bad, but you’ll be fine a week or two later.
Obviously, this idea (much like A Modest Proposal) is not a serious one (especially about the IBJJF), but I still am saddened when I’m confronted with people in our society who hide behind the veil of the “I’ll sue you” threat versus the much more basic human threat of fighting. I think most of us (including myself) would be a lot more careful in talking crap if we had to back it up through fighting.