An April 7 opinion letter from a reader in Pine River disputed my previous letter criticizing politicians who are blindly opposed to prerequisite universal background checks for buyers of firearms, in Minnesota and nationwide.

The purpose of multiple legislative bills, before both Minnesota and Washington, D.C., lawmakers, seems obvious: to protect lives everywhere, built upon the basics of common-sense safeguards.

Not so, says the writer in Pine River. He claims that "private party sales are few and far between," implying miniscule numbers of gun-related casualties from perpetrators of gun violence who acquire firearms through person-to-person transactions.

Untrue. A recent university study found the average firearm homicide rate in states without background checks is 58 percent higher than in states with background-check laws in place.

The writer also claims "you cannot buy guns online and have them shipped to you." Untrue. It took me just minutes to find a half-dozen sites that promote and enable private sales between firearms sellers and buyers.

On one website displaying thousands of listings, I saw a lethally attractive-looking AR15 assault rifle, clicked on "Contact Seller,"and asked, "Still available?" I received a reply in one minute, "Yes, sir!" Cash and carry OK? Whatever. Many sellers offer shipping. Under cleverly worded "terms of use," it's a quasi-honor system: an NRA masterstroke.

A Boston police officer recently sued, alleging a website's criminality through enabling a gun sale to a convicted felon, who had no legal right to purchase a weapon, and who used it to shoot and maim him.

We can, of course, strive to live within the biblical guidance, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters," (Colossians 3:23), rather than bowing to masters of irreverence, enabling unlimited, undocumented bad guys owning guns.

Steven Olson,