Everyone agrees that gun violence in America is a deadly problem, but there's a deep divide over how to solve the tragic conundrum. While some herald the need for heart change and the battle against pervasive evil, others believe increased gun control is the answer — and still others see the solution as a mixture of thoughts, prayers, and legislative action.
"Duck Dynasty" star Missy Robertson and Rev. Pat Mahoney — a signee of the Prayers and Action petition, a document that calls for American lawmakers to "pass common-sense gun laws" and for believers to commit to prayer — recently joined PureFlix.com's "Pure Talk" to hash the issue out.
Both Robertson, whose famed family is known for being hunters, and Mahoney, who has become involved in causes like March for Our Lives, agreed that prayer is powerful and that God holds the ability to change hearts.
"We're backing away from good versus evil and there has to be good if there is evil," Robertson said. "No matter what side of the [gun violence] issue you are on, we all agree that that is ... evil behavior. Well, if that is evil, there is an opposite and that is good."
Watch the powerful discussion below:
Robertson went on to explain that God created the universe and human beings — and that He also created goodness. Then, in questioning how culture can get back to acknowledging the paradigm, she offered up a pointed remedy: "The solution is Christ."
While Robertson said mental illness is surely an existing factor, she decried the fact that people tend to ignore the fact that "lack of Christ" is behind some of our social chaos.
Mahoney, too, pointed to prayer as a powerful tool in helping change human hearts — something that is badly needed in the present culture. After prayer, though, he said Christians must come together to figure out positive and fruitful solutions to the gun violence problem.
"Prayer is not passive. Prayer has brought down kingdoms, healed hearts, touched lives," he said. "It's the most powerful, amazing thing that we have."
Mahoney later added, "Let's not use sloganeering, let's begin in prayer."
Robertson and Mahoney also disagreed on some of the finer elements of the gun debate, including arming teachers — something that Robertson said she "absolutely" supports, as long as it's optional for trained educators.
Mahoney was fervently in favor of legislation that would help curb gun deaths, emphasizing that addressing any social problem requires people to first look at the heart issue and the gospel, then to sit down and discuss the problem in an honest way, while seeking solutions.
He pointed to issues such as abortion to note that, while it — like gun violence — is a heart issue, there are also laws on the books to help curb and contain it.
"We also have laws on the books which talk about waiting periods, clinic regulations and things like that," he said. "So, the first step is prayer. ... We live in a fallen world that the only hope is Christ."