To those too busy to notice anything other than the pomp and circumstance of the Godfather's household, Don Corleone may just seem like a strong-willed, conservative patriarch leading a well-coiffured family. Tom Hagen, the family's consigliere, would often rely on common sense, existing laws, and the Constitution to maintain and enhance the family's profile among the too-busy-to-criticize public and among the powerful interests with which the family dealt.
Today, the "Grownups Patriarchal Gun Lobby" has a bevy of well-paid "consiglieres" and presumably well-armed hunters yearning to conceal-carry more weapons.
Today, the "Youngsters Weeping Survivors Lobby" has a growing mass of un-concealable tearful mothers, fathers, and kids overtly carrying signs on sticks.
We need gun reform now, student lie-in at the White House to protest gun laws
(Image by Lorie Shaull) Permission Details DMCA
For America to grow into the next century with dignity, stature, and economic prowess, we don't need more Tom Hayden "consiglieres." We need more gutsy, caring, and observant "counselors." Here are a few reasons why:
The full report can be found at https://carsey.unh.edu/publication/school-counselors .
Only 17.8 percent of school districts meet the American School Counselor Association's recommended student-to-school counselor ratio of 250:1 or lower. The median ratio is 411:1.
Only 4.2 percent of city districts nationwide meet or exceed a ratio of 250:1, with the median city district reporting a student-to-counselor ratio of 499:1.
Access to school counselors varies considerably across states. Median ratios are over 1000:1 in Arizona and California but under 250:1 in North Carolina, North Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Montana.
A good counselor is like a good scout moving us through hazardous country. A good scout is conversant in the language of the country, its inhabitants, and those needing guidance. He can tell you to: 1) avoid the problems ahead; 2) prepare to battle through the obstacles; 3) use reason and aid to talk and maneuver you and others around the looming challenges.
Let us guesstimate that right now 1,000 students across the country are at a personally challenging period of their lives and, consequently, open to doing something violent and horrific.
If we funded school districts to employ the requisite number of counselors (250 students:1 counselor), how many of those temporarily troubled students might, during discussions with their counselors, indicate their needs to the educational system's good scouts?
How many perfectly healthy students might provide clues or indicate to their counselors, students who may be having trouble?
What percentage, or numbers, do you come up with who might be stopped from creating disasters?
In a country where we trump-up violent wars, games, movies, talk, guns, etc., why don't we staff-up and budget-up educational programs that help decrease the ugliness and increase the goodness that emanates from a healthy educational system.
A fully geared-up army of dedicated counselors is one of the first lines of defense for controlling today's mass shootings and one of the major ways to stem America's march toward a violent culture.
Another line of defense is to move many more Americans to serve voluntarily and peacefully together in a big national service program like People's Lobby's American World Service Corps Congressional Proposal.
This piece is dedicated to Dave Christiansen Sr., a giant of a man who brought good humor, frankness, and courage to his counseling activities at Glendora High and Whitcomb Continuation School in Glendora, California.