My heart has been heavy this week for many reasons, most of which I will keep to myself. However, the recent event that I’m sure we have all struggled with the past few days has been the tragedy of what happened at the concert in Las Vegas Sunday evening. When such a horrific incident takes place, there are so many emotions. Shock, anger, frustration, compassion for the families of those who died, and then sometimes a looming fear of what the future holds. My heart goes out to those affected by this senseless violence, just know we are praying for you and for strength to carry on.

Good morning Neosho!
My heart has been heavy this week for many reasons, most of which I will keep to myself. However, the recent event that I’m sure we have all struggled with the past few days has been the tragedy of what happened at the concert in Las Vegas Sunday evening. When such a horrific incident takes place, there are so many emotions. Shock, anger, frustration, compassion for the families of those who died, and then sometimes a looming fear of what the future holds. My heart goes out to those affected by this senseless violence, just know we are praying for you and for strength to carry on.
 How can the human heart be so evil? How could a human being carry out such a horrible crime against his fellow man? I know, we are all still waiting to answer the question of why. What was the motive? What was the background? Maybe we’ll find out, maybe we will never know. I don’t know. What I do know, is that times like these always cause me to exercise deep reflection. For instance, what if it was my family that had to go thru the terror of such an awful incident? Would It change the way that I think? Would my values stay firmly where they are? Could it have been prevented somehow?
 Through much reflection this week, I have realized that history and human nature proves that there is no way we can completely prevent evil people from committing evil acts. This thorough pondering has confirmed the values I’ve held all along. All you can do is try to prevent people from becoming evil, and protect innocent life from evil when it is possible. One is accomplished through education beginning in the home, and the other is taking the initiative to be a protector over those in your care. The home is by far the most important part of the equation. Many of the ills of society are a result of no interconnectedness in the home and a fractured structure of leadership for children. To fix the problems of our society, we must begin with the family!
 As a Christian, I firmly believe that we desperately need God to guide us again.  We need to make America good again! As Alexis de Tocqueville made the observation so long ago about America: “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Another quote comes to mind by Russell Clearman: “America is at a danger point. We must confess with troubled hearts that America has forgotten God. She is rolling in luxury, rollicking in pleasure, revolting in morals, and rotting in sin. What can we expect of a society in which passions are like riderless horses?”
So, make it a point this weekend to pull your family close. Hug your children, tell them you love them and that you’re proud of them. Invest in their development by connecting with them! Take them to church, play a game, take a walk in the park, explain an important life principle. The value of these things effects our future more than we realize! Until next time, God Bless Neosho!

Ben Baker is the mayor of Neosho and writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.