Here's a little news analysis I did for a grassroots progressive group that I support. I think we gun owners may have been offered a ray of hope in Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney's new proposal on mental health care funding, if we can rise to the occasion: Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney proposed a major increase in state funding for mental health programs . "It's game changing time," Courtney told reporters, according to the front page article in the Oregonian Peter Courtney calls for 'game-changing' investment in mental health | OregonLive.com (Feb 7): 'He said he's tired of all the talk about mental health, especially in the raging debate over gun control, and wants to see some action by state lawmakers. "You want to do something? Let's do it," he said , his voice quavering at times... He said the massacre of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the ensuing polarization over guns and mental health provoked him to stepping up... Senate Republicans, who generally oppose more gun control, approached Courtney over the past month, hoping to stoke a conversation about mental health...' Courtney is proposing to increase funding for crisis intervention to $285 million overr two years, along with spending $46 million to serve children and young adults. Courtney is calling for a new dedicated revenue source for these programs. If this proposal gets traction it could present a third option in the polarized debate about gun control at the legislature. Gun control advocates are proposing a ban on high capacity gun magazines. However, there are already tens of thousands of high capacity magazines circulating in the state, and literally millions nation wide. It is hard to imagine how this proposal would have any concrete effect on gun violence, even under the assumptions of gun control supporters. On the other hand, gun rights advocates have been framing the issue as an attack on the Second Amendment, despite the fact that the great majority of the population view the situation as a crisis in public safety. Courtney's proposal offers the chance for a bi-partisan initiative to directly benefit the lives of thousands of Oregonians, while increasing public safety in a very measurable way. It also potentially side-steps the us vs them confrontation over the magazine capacity ban. Can Courtney and mental health advocates work a deal with Oregon Republicans to pass full funding for mental health care in exchange for side-lining the high capacity magazine ban? It would require major adjustments to entrenched political positions on all sides, but the beneficiaries would be thousands of people in urgent need to mental health care, their families, and public safety in general.