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Battling Grannies

For my last couple of years at the Edmonton Sun I was one of the crime reporters. To me, there was no such thing as a “daring robbery”. The word “daring” suggests something admirable. There's nothing admirable about stealing. Most criminals are sad and pathetic people. A lot of them seem to see themselves as Robin Hood characters. Fortunately for the cops, most of them aren't that bright.
On the other hand, “battling grannies” never fought off “cowardly thugs” in my stories either. What did the reporters who accuse muggers of being cowards when their victims fight back actually want the criminals to do? Knock the old lady to the ground and stamp on her head? Aborting the robbery maybe the only decent thing the crook does that day. I didn't want to write anything that might discourage some inadequate scumbag from doing the right thing at the last minute. Don't get me wrong, anyone who attacks and steals from someone weaker from themselves is a coward, but not half-killing a weaker someone who fights back is not cowardly.
And while I'm on the subject of crime reporting: another thing I could never bring myself to do was to describe a criminal as a “suspect” when cops had no idea of their identity. For example - “The suspect is described as a white male, 5'6”, and wearing a dark jacket”. If that's all the cops have, they don't have a suspect. They have description of a thug, knifeman, raider, robber, mugger or attacker. That person only becomes a “suspect” when they have a name to go with the crook.
Isn't it odd how little things become more annoying as a person gets older.

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