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Local martial artist Ben Pomeroy is glad to be able to live by the sword, literally. Photo by Rowan Lehr.

In an era of openly toting shotguns and six-shooters, Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed House Bill 1935, allowing for adults to open carry anything from Bowie knives to full-size katanas and everything in between.

Naturally, most people are somewhat fearful of the possibility of the streets being overrun by loonies with swords, and while Ben Pomeroy is concerned about that, he’s excited.

The 21-year-old Crowley resident and self-proclaimed Black Dragon of Ninja Awesomeness said he is excited to soon be able to proudly carry around one of his katanas or sai knives.

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“In general, I support Abbott,” Pomeroy said. “Ain’t nobody gonna mess with you with a sword on your back.”

For Pomeroy, who’s about average height but has a strong, solid build from his almost 15 years of working out, doing mixed martial arts and studying various other forms of combat that involve weapons like sai knives is part of his ongoing effort to live by the honor code of the Bushido or the way of the samurai warrior. He has the Japanese characters for “Bushido” tattooed on his arm. Along with some Pokemon stuff.

“Bushido is more than just a lifestyle or code of ethics,” Pomeroy said. “It’s a mindset. The seven virtues are integrity, respect, courage, honor, compassion, honesty and sincerity, and loyalty and duty.”

Sounds like nine virtues, but we’re not arguing with the Black Dragon. (For the record, the Japanese words for the last two virtues mean two different words each when translated to English.)

Much like the open carry of firearms, HB 1935 is sure to come with a lot of safety concerns.

“There is always the setback of worrying about the crazies,” Pomeroy said. “Hopefully, no one will throw a spear at a cop in downtown Fort Worth or anything, but you have to worry about that with any kind of weapon.” 

Pomeroy’s interest in blades is nothing new. His first knife – a bayonet that was well past the state’s 5.5-inch limit at the time – was a gift he received about 10 years ago. But come September, he and others will be able to openly wield their blades.

“Once the bill is in full effect, I might not open carry every day, but you never know,” Pomeroy said. 

Pomeroy doesn’t plan on open carrying for self-defense. He just wants to exercise his right to practice living by the sword, literally.

State Rep. John Frullo has said his bill is commonsensical – HB 1935 will not extend to public schools, hospitals, churches, or anywhere liquor is served. 

“It’s not making criminals out of people who have no intention of creating some type of criminal act,” Frullo further said in defense of his bill.

If nothing else, HB 1935 lifts some of the criminal restrictions associated with carrying a Bowie knife, allows further expression of the Second Amendment (’Murica!), and lets you bring the biggest knife you can think of to any gunfights.

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