This news article is from the Niles Weekly Register, September 16, 1837.
A tax of one hundred dollars on a particular type of knife (that certainly sold for less than 100 dollars) seems like an attempt to prevent people from owning them. Leave it to the liberal state of Alabama to try to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.
What made the Bowie knife more dangerous than any other weapon at the time? Perhaps it was the myth that grew out of a real incident that took place.
Perhaps people who purchased Bowie knives fantasized themselves as defenders of the innocent and powerful fighters. They would play with the knives, defeating imaginary enemies left and right. Sooner or later the play would turn into an actual incident and real people would get hurt and killed.
Kinda like people do with their guns now.