A PennLive op-ed by Mike Bacior acknowledges the struggle to find a sensible middle ground on the gun issue when both sides are often so polarized, but says there is a need for “quantifiable, strict background checks on all sales, both private and public” to keep guns from falling into the wrong hands.

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Mr. Bacior adds that he “believes in protecting the rights of Americans, but also [believes] in protecting Americans.” Most Americans agree that additional measures are needed to ensure public safety.

“A survey conducted in 2013,” writes Bacior, “demonstrated that 74 percent of American NRA members want extensive background checks for gun buyers; 91 percent of all gun-owning households want extensive background checks for gun buyers, and 91 percent of all Americans want extensive background checks for gun buyers.”

He also makes an important point: if Pennsylvania residents need to undergo background checks to buy pistols, then they need to undergo the same checks to buy assault rifles.

Let’s join with people like Mr. Bacior and let our legislators know that background checks for sales of long guns will make Pennsylvania a safer place for everyone.