Just to prove that people do things different in Texas, a new law that allows people to carry swords openly has come into effect. From now on, Texans will be allowed to sport a variety of edged weapons in public, everything from katanas to Bowie knives. The law restricts the carry of edged weapons to certain places such as bars and restaurants, schools and universities, and so on,

How the open carry sword law came to be

The Open Carry sword law was introduced by state Rep. John Frullo earlier this year. The bill was almost derailed when a University of Texas student was killed and three others wounded by a suspect with a hunting knife.

Compromise language was added to the bill imposing certain location restrictions.

Reaction to the new law is mixed

To be sure, the response to the fact that Texans will now be allowed to carry Bladed Weapons in public have varied from the positive to the snarky. The idea of people dueling one another in city streets like 17th Century Musketeers is a beguiling one. It brings to mind a story, perhaps apocryphal, about what happened when a group of young muggers ambushed a group of Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval role-playing group, on a commuter train.

It seems that some young stick-up artists presented switch blades and demanded that the SCA group hand over their wallets. The folks who pretend to be medieval knights and warriors duly drew broadswords and offered to stand and deliver.

The would-be muggers, out of a sense of caution, declined the offer and fled the scene.

Of course, everyone remembers the scene in “Crocodile Dundee” when the hero, attacked by a young man with a dinky blade, quipped, “That’s not a knife.” Then drew his hunting weapon. “Now, that’s a knife.”

It should be noted that Texas is an open carry firearm state.

Pistols are far more efficient weapons for self-defense than are broadswords and sabers. The principle of taking a knife to a gun fight still applies.

Bladed weapons as tools

One effect of the new law will be that people will have more options for the use of bladed weapons as tools. Machetes, one suspects, would be just the thing for trimming some tree branches in the back yard.

A Bowie knife will now be a standard accessory for hunters and fishermen.

Texas is a different place that defies stereotypes and is filled with independent people who don’t like being told what to do and not what to do. That tendency is the real reason Texans can now carry swords because no reason exists not to.