Just some random notes and thoughts.

Mark Barden, the father of a victim at Sandy Hook Elementary School, joins President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in making a statement on gun violence in the Rose Garden of the White House ( Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The issue and debate over gun control is interesting in that the majority of Americans favor efforts for stronger measures but that doesn’t seem to resonate in Washington with yesterday’s defeat on proposals that would have expanded background checks and banned assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips.

The problem for lawmakers is Republicans, especially those in states that are big on their 2nd Amendment rights, don’t seem to be swayed by recent polls that show nearly 9 in 10 Americans favor universal background checks.

It has been quite a year for Hometown Heroes and tonight the organization gets to thank many who have supported their efforts to help others before and after Sandy. The 3rd Annual Hometown Heroes Awards Gala will be held at Crystal Point Yacht Club in Point Pleasant.

I will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event which will honor individuals and organizations including The White Pearl Hotel, Bernice Washington, Dr. A. Michael Salzer, Harley Davidson of Long Branch, Hecht Trailers, Press Communications, Townsquare Media, Global Tech East and Operation Cupcake.

Pretty good day for Toms River East softball standout Jordan Weed Wednesday. The senior pitcher threw a perfect game and struck out all 21 batters she faced as the 2nd seeded Raiders topped Manchester 9-0 in the opening round of the Ocean County Tournament.

Not only that but Weed collected the 100th hit of her career and drove in 3 runs while teammate Sarah Benvicenga joined the 100 hit club with three hits, including a home run. It’s only the second perfect game in the 33-year history of the OCT and the 21 strikeouts is a tournament record.

Tim Osborn (Ocean County Signal)

If anything yesterday’s turnout at the viewing for Tim Osborn showed his family the impact that he had on so many. The 53-year old Jackson Liberty High School football coach and teacher died suddenly last weekend and funeral services will be this morning at 10:30 at St. Luke’s in Toms River.

Mourners gathered in long lines outside Silverton Memorial Funeral Home to pay their respects to the retired State Trooper and longtime football coach.