The Indiana Rangers were a rough and tough band of men and women who were well-trained and ready to protect new settlers and tradesmen. They were forerunners of the popular Texas Rangers, of whom I am an honorary member and on whom I based my television series "Walker, Texas Ranger."
I think the Hoosier State and the rest of the country saw the spirit of the Indiana Rangers resurrect this past week in the Fort Wayne resident and feisty grandmother Melinda Walker.
Walker was asleep in her town house with her 5-year-old grandson this past Sunday, when she was awakened by three male robbers, who were demanding cash and her flat-screen TV, according to The Blaze.
The men said they had a gun and threatened to take it out and use it. One of the robbers kept saying, "She doesn't think we have a gun. Take it out and clean it on her," Walker told WANE-TV.
She feared for her grandson's safety, she said. "All I thought of was, 'You're getting away from my grandson.'"
So in the midst of the assault, Walker grabbed a nearby miniature toy guitar, which accompanies her grandson's "Guitar Hero" game, and began swinging it at the intruders.
She explained: "I just reached down and picked it up, and I told them to get the hell out of my house. 'Get out of my house! Get out of my house!'" She added, "I just kept smacking one of them."
As the robbers backed up toward her stairwell, Walker shoved the one man "that wouldn't shut up," and he flew halfway down the stairs.
The thugs were up against an indefensible American institution: a grandmother! They knew they had met their match, so all three men fled empty-handed.
Walker reminds me of some tenets that our Founding Fathers rooted in the early republic: the right to protect life, limb and property, as well as the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment.
Founder Samuel Adams, delegate to the First Continental Congress, signer of the Declaration of Independence and governor of Massachusetts, said, "Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can."
Richard Henry Lee, another signer of the Declaration of Independence and a framer of the Second Amendment, wrote: "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
According to http://www.monticello.org -- Thomas Jefferson's estate's official website -- Jefferson cited in his "Legal Commonplace Book" the following passage, which came from his own Italian copy of Cesare Beccaria's "Essay on Crimes and Punishments": "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one."
Our fourth president, James Madison -- who penned the first drafts of the U.S. Constitution, co-wrote the Federalist Papers and sponsored the Bill of Rights -- wrote: "The advantage of being armed (is an advantage that) the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. ... In the several kingdoms of Europe ... the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
The fifth U.S. president, James Monroe, added: "The right of self-defense never ceases. It is among the most sacred and alike necessary to nations and to individuals."
John Dickinson, member of the Continental Congress, governor of Pennsylvania, member of the Constitutional Convention and signer of the Constitution, recognized the right of self-defense as so unceasing and permanent that he called it a right "which God gave to you and which no inferior power has a right to take away."
And no inferior power includes juvenile thugs in Indiana, who should feel lucky that Melinda Walker didn't have Smith & Wesson by her side.
Though Walker had been burglarized twice before, I bet robbers will think twice before they try to break in to her house again.
To conclude, Grandma Melinda was asked whether she had a message for her intruders. She replied brazenly: "I may not be a strong woman. I may not be a well woman, but you're not going to get my stuff."
I guess you could call that tough-spirited, guitar-wielding grandmother "Walker, Indiana Ranger."
(Want some tips on how to protect your house and loved ones, especially if you're a woman? Go to SafetyChick.com.)
Next week, I'll pick back up my series on Thomas Jefferson and public education.