As Congress holds its first hearings on gun violence since the Newtown tragedy, Baker Institute honorary chair James A. Baker, III, and Rep. John D. Dingell offer four general gun control guidelines in a New York Times op-ed.

Baker, a conservative Texas Republican, and Dingell, a liberal Michigan Democrat, have often found themselves on opposite sides of political battles, they write, but they share a "strong love of guns and the outdoors and, just as important, a respect for both."

Any gun legislation that is suggested should be broad-gauged, they say. "There is no one single cause of gun violence and no single solution."

"Second, any approach demands bipartisan support ... Absent wide support, any laws passed now might well be rescinded once the partisan balance of power inevitably shifts.

"Third, common sense should prevail. We must get away from a mind-set that has owners of firearms worried that 'they are going to take our guns away.' The Second Amendment guarantees that won"t happen. Our nation has regulated various kinds of arms throughout history, and done so without violating the Second Amendment.

"Finally, each of us should look into our own heart to consider what type of nation we want to be. From members of the National Rifle Association to the most passionate gun-control advocates, no one wants to live in a country where innocent children are killed indiscriminately."