We’ve intermittently had a stray connection here in our little vacation room here in Avoriaz. As I type this, the hulking, snowy peaks of the Alps close in on us from every window. Yesterday, we did three hours of “rackets,” otherwise known as snow shoe hiking. I didn’t think I’d make it. It was far more physically challenging than I had imagined. I’m practically a snow virgin, too. But the view of our group trudging in our snow shoes with our poles across the midsection of one particularly dramatic slope must have been something because if I spent too much time looking down, my head spun ever so slightly. I’ll post photos of the trek and of our breathtaking valley views when we get home.
Meanwhile, I was delighted to discover Meg accepted and posted a photo I submitted to CuteOverload before we left. The original photo was taken by The Quirky Chick. I had no idea I’d created a new Cute phrase. Neato.
In other news, I’m frustrated by how limited universities are these days regarding what they can do with mentally ill and disruptive students. I know university profs who discovered they were powerless, even when they reported that a schizophrenic student threatened to blow up a classroom. Universities are so afraid of lawsuits these days that they don’t investigate and deal with mental health issues for fear that they’ll be sued for discrimination.
But two things are really bothering me about what happened at Virginia Tech. One, the psycho ought to have been expelled for stalking. Although I have no specific information on this, I suspect from talking to the profs I know that the school’s hands were bound by what I just mentioned. Two, although I’m not against gun possession by sane adults, I’m now convinced that we need tight controls. If people had to go through what they do in France to get a gun, far fewer whack jobs could obtain guns and carry out this kind of violence because they wouldn’t have the ability or wherewithal to complete the necessary regulatory programs. “Gun control” has been sullied by hysterical conservatives as being some kind of outlawing of weaponry when in actuality it’s merely acknowledging that guns too easily fall into the hands of people who will most certainly misuse them. Creating a stiff acquisition and licensing program can go a long way towards reducing the more dangerous possessions. Until the States acknowledge this, tragedies will continue at this alarming rate.
Back to the stalking: Were these cases reported to the authorities? Not just the school authorities, but to the police? If not, why? Is it because women have their hands patted — there-there — when men behave in frightening ways? I’ve always thought stalking has been one of those problems that’s under-policed (that and animal torture). When will we finally acknowledge that it’s a sign of a much deeper, more sinister form of mental illness? One that stalkers themselves admit in courtrooms they are unable to control?
And that’s all I have for today. There’s too much snow and too many mountainous wonders to marvel at for now.