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Going the Full Bowie: That’s not a knife. That’s a knife! By John Steele

     With radical jihadist knife attacks across the West, and police often missing attackers, hitting innocent shoppers, as happened here in Australia, maybe it is time to take a note out of Texas’ book and bring back old school weapons:

“SAN ANGELO, Texas — The phrase “everything’s bigger in Texas” is about to become even more clear-cut.
On Friday, Texans will legally be allowed to carry blades longer than 5.5 inches in most — but not all — places.
This includes openly carrying the famous Jim Bowie knife, as well as daggers, dirks, throwing knives, stilettos, poniards, swords, machetes and spears.
The new law was introduced by Republican state Rep. John Frullo this year but met resistance after a student was killed and three others were wounded at the University of Texas by a suspect wielding a hunting knife.
As a compromise, the measure passed by changing the wording describing the blades from “illegal” to “location-restricted.”

     The blade restrictions arose, in a state that allows open carry of handguns –  another excellent idea we should adopt in Australia – because of Bowie knife fights in the 1800s, popularised by the epic knife battles of Jim Bowie (1796-1836), who achieved fame from the Vidalia Sandbar fight, outside of Natchez, Mississippi, on September 19, 1827. I will be celebrating “Jim Bowie Day” on September 19, 2017. Anyway, here is a description of that battle:

“[On] September 19, 1827, Bowie and Wright attended a duel on a sandbar outside of Natchez, Mississippi. Bowie supported duellist Samuel Levi Wells III, while Wright supported Wells’s opponent, Dr. Thomas Harris Maddox. The duellists each fired two shots and, as neither man had been injured, resolved their duel with a handshake. Other members of the groups, who had various reasons for disliking each other, began fighting. Bowie was shot in the hip; after regaining his feet he drew a knife, described as a butcher knife, and charged his attacker, who hit Bowie over the head with his empty pistol, breaking the pistol and knocking Bowie to the ground. Wright shot at and missed the prone Bowie, who returned fire and possibly hit Wright. Wright then drew his sword cane and impaled Bowie. When Wright attempted to retrieve his blade by placing his foot on Bowie’s chest and tugging, Bowie pulled him down and disemboweled Wright with his large knife. Wright died instantly, and Bowie, with Wright’s sword still protruding from his chest, was shot again and stabbed by another member of the group. The doctors who had been present for the duel removed the bullets and patched Bowie’s other wounds.
Newspapers picked up the story, which became known as the Sandbar Fight, and described in detail Bowie’s fighting prowess and his unusual knife. Witness accounts agreed that Bowie did not attack first, and the others had focused their attack on Bowie because “they considered him the most dangerous man among their opposition.” The incident cemented Bowie’s reputation across the South as a superb knife fighter.
There is disagreement among scholars as to whether the knife used in this fight was the same as what is now known as a Bowie knife, also called an Arkansas Toothpick. Multiple accounts exist of who designed and built the first Bowie knife. Some claim that Bowie designed it, while others attribute the design to noted knife makers of the time. In a letter to The Planter’s Advocate, Rezin Bowie claimed to have invented the knife, however, and many Bowie family members as well as “most authorities on the Bowie knife tend to believe it was invented by” Rezin. Rezin Bowie’s grandchildren, however, claimed that Rezin merely supervised his blacksmith, who was the creator of the knife.”

     It is very good news that Texas is now reversing its knife bans, which were imposed due to the manly deeds of its greatest son. We all need to celebrate Jim Bowie Day, a day where we remember the man who gave us not only a superb weapon, but an object of art, beauty and splendour – the Bowie knife. Could this be humanity’s greatest creation, second only to fire? Oh, lost in the rapture of the moment, I surely exaggerate. But, only a little.

     Even by reading this, if you are a man, your T levels probably exploded. Imagine the levels they would reach if you could carry a broadsword or Bowie knife with you! Just for the sheer manhood hell of it! My 12-inch monster is on my lap as I pound away on my laptop, which is plugged into a tree out here in the Victorian scrub.



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Thursday, 02 July 2020
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