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More Problems for Dreamliner; Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Plan to Keep Kids Safe; New Details on Theater Massacre; Piers Morgan Talks Gun Control; Hollywood Accused of Hypocrisy on Gun Violence

Aired January 9, 2013 - 13:30   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The mechanical problems just keep rolling in for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. The latest happened in Japan today. An All Nippon Airways flight was canceled after the crew discovered an error message related to the plane's breaking system. On Monday, a fire broke out aboard an empty Japan Airlines Dreamliner in Boston. And yesterday a fuel leak canceled another Japan Airlines Dreamliner flight also in Boston.

Maribel Aber is live in New York.

Not a good start for this very complex Dreamliner aircraft. What is the company doing to rectify these problems?

MARIBEL ABER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Christine. Not a good start. The company held a conference call today to discuss the issues. They say the performance has been similar to the performance of the 777 when it first went into service, and went on to say like any brand new plane there are issues. We have to work through them and move on.

This is a big deal for Boeing, which has over 800 orders outstanding for the Dreamliner and endured years and delays and problems getting the new plane off the ground in the first place.

Boeing shares sale sharply Monday and Tuesday. The bargain hunters are out. We are talking about a company that made $3.5 billion in profit in 2011, on track to top $4 billion for 2012. While the Dreamliner is a critical part of Boeing's future, just to put this in perspective, it only accounts for about 7 percent of total orders outstanding -- Christine?

ROMANS: It is meant to highlight engineering in its finest. Outsourcing and engineering at its finest. It has been interesting what a problem it has been.

Let's talk about drones. Drones going mainstream. What is this about?

ABER: Drone is a great marketing word. Most of these are basically toy helicopters with cameras on them and a little modern technology on them. Unless you want to spend, you probably won't be any serious spying with your drone.

"CNN Money" took one for a test flight in the New York newsroom. This one is made by Parrott, one of about a dozen companies selling drones for consumer use. Parrott says it sold over a half million of the gadgets, most equipped with H.D. cameras and controlled with a Smartphone app. They sale for an average of about $300. It varies and depends on how sophisticated you want to get. What kind of range and battery life you want. The more expensive ones are designed for a variety of commercial uses, including law enforcement, wild life research. And real estate agents are using them for aerial photos and videos. Of course, they can be a great tool for TV news.

ROMANS: I was in the news room yesterday, and, all of a sudden, what is that? It looked like a huge bumble bee. So, so interesting.

Maribel Aber, thanks so much. Nice to see you today.

We are waiting now to hear from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Seems to be getting a late start. We'll try to bring it to you, live.

Coming up, America's toughest sheriff has a plan to protect kids from gun violence. His plan, a volunteer patrol posse to stand guard at schools.


JOE ARPAIO, SHERIFF OF MARICOPA COUNTY: Not a secret. I want everybody to know we are there and maybe the bad guys will worry about it.



ROMANS: Today as Vice President Biden holds gun violence meetings at the White House and New York's governor proposes banning assault weapons in his State of the State address, Sheriff Joe Arpaio taking a very different approach. The outspoken sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County has started an all-volunteer posse of armed men and women to patrol outside schools.

Jarrett Dillingham from CNN affiliate KTVK has that story.


JARRETT DILLINGHAM, KTVK REPORTER (voice-over): Volunteer posse patrols are already visible at some schools and many others should expect them later this week.

ARPAIO: It is not a secret. I want everybody to know we are there and maybe the bad guys will worry about it.

DILLINGHAM: Sheriff Joe Arpaio says his armed posse school patrols will act as a deterrent.

REP. MATT SALMON, (R), ARIZONA: I think the posse -- the sheriff has stepped up to the plate time and time again and filled a void in the community when it comes to security. And I think he's doing it again. I think it is a good idea. DILLINGHAM: The posse will patrol schools in county islands, mostly on the outskirts of Maricopa County, about 50 schools in all, including elementary, middle and high schools.

Some parents at one of them in Anthem are just finding out about the new armed patrols and have concerns.

SUSANNE, PARENT: But I cannot believe that something like this would be implemented without first speaking to the parents.

DILLINGHAM: The sheriff is quick to point out he doesn't need permission to launch these school patrols and many parents are thanking him for it.

UNIDENTIFIED PARENT: Bravo. I think it is about time.

UNIDENTIFIED PARENT: It makes our kids feel safer.

UNIDENTIFIED PARENT: Having that in the school could greatly reduce the number of casualties if some psycho decides to try it again.

DILLINGHAM: The armed posse volunteers go through training similar to deputies. They will patrol outside schools unless they are need inside.

ARPAIO: If they have to go into the school to stop havoc, they are going in there.

DILLINGHAM: Sheriff Arpaio plans to release more information to make skeptical parents and teachers more comfortable with the new posse patrols.


ROMANS: That was Jarrett Dillingham from CNN affiliate KTVK.

A 5-year-old kid suspended for pointing his finger at another student.


UNIDENTIFIED BOY: I did it like this and I said "bang bang."

UNIDENTIFIED MOTHER: I asked him, I said, were you being serious or were you playing. He says, Mommy, I was just playing with my friend.



ROMANS: We're learning all sorts of new details about the Colorado movie theater massacre and the accused gunman, James Holmes. The third day of a preliminary hearing getting underway now. Witnesses giving us new insight into his methodical planning and bizarre behavior.

Casey Wian is outside the courthouse. He's been following all of it. Casey, what is the latest?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, the preliminary hearing has now concluded. There was dramatic testimony today, more evidence that the prosecution is trying to present, saying James Holmes was fully capable of what he was doing.

Today's evidence, pictures that were recovered from his iPhone. Four of them taken several weeks before the shooting, of the inside of the movie theater and of the outside of the movie theater at about midnight, at about the time that that shooting took place.

Perhaps the most dramatic pictures inside his apartment of himself with his hair bright red. He had black contacts in his eyes, making him look very, very sinister. A couple of pictures showed him with grins on his face or his tongue sticking out. He was wearing some of the ballistic gear he wore. There were pictures of the explosive devices in his apartment to booby trap it. Those bombs never went off. There was a dramatic photo of his bed and on that bed were an assault rifle, shot gun, all of his ballistic gear, his protective helmet, gas masks, really dramatic evidence that shows a lot of planning went into this.

That was the prosecution's final witness. We had expected the defense to call witnesses. They declined to do so, even though there was a bit of a battle before the hearing as to whether they had a right to call witnesses to speak to James Holmes' mental state. The judge said he will rule on whether James Holmes will stand trial this coming Friday.

ROMANS: What about the dating services? He tried to sign up for a couple of dating services in the months ahead of this?

WIAN: He actually did. Two online dating services. And on both of those sites, according to detectives, he posted the question, will you visit me in prison? Why do they bring that up? Clearly, to show that he knew the consequences of his actions -- Christine?

ROMANS: The mood in the courtroom and his demeanor in particular, Casey, what was it like?

WIAN: The mood in the courtroom today was a little more subdued than it had been especially yesterday when the 911 calls were played. Family members were very emotional when that testimony was played. Not so much today. Some family members say that they saw James Holmes smile when these pictures of his apartment and pictures of himself with the bright red hair were displayed. I frankly did not see that. I didn't have a great angle looking at him. Family members say they saw a smile or a smirk.

But overwhelmingly, throughout the three-day hearing, James Holmes has remained expressionless, emotionless, saying nothing, doing nothing, pretty much looking straight ahead.

ROMANS: Great work, Casey. Thank you.

In Oklahoma, school officials suspended a 5-year-old boy for making a gun gesture with his hand.


UNIDENTIFIED MOTHER: He said the kid had been mean to him and he made a finger gesture.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: I did it like this, and I said "bang bang."

UNIDENTIFIED MOTHER: I asked him, I said, were you being serious or were you playing. He says, Mommy, I was just playing with my friend.


ROMANS: He's 5 years old. That incident happened days after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. When our local affiliate reached out to the school for comment, officials told them each case was looked at individually to decide punishment. The mother said she didn't appeal the suspension since it was only for one day.

Piers Morgan has been outspoken in the gun debate. Weighs in on Vice President Biden's efforts to combat gun violence.


ROMANS: CNN's Piers Morgan has talked about gun control many times since the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre that killed 20 children, took the lives of six staff members. Today, he spoke about what he thinks about the vice president's task force on gun violence. Here is more from that interview.


PIERS MORGAN, HOST, PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT (voice-over): It is time that American politicians woke up to the reality of what is happening in their country. The last four mass shootings in America all involved deranged young men using AR-15 military-style assault rifles. These are killing machines. They have no place on civilian streets or in civilian hands.

And the politicians can hide behind all sorts of rhetoric about the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms and all of this, but no one can convince me and no one has convinced me the founding fathers ever meant for a situation where disturbed young men in America could go to a Wal-Mart or the equivalent and buy one of these machine guns and go to a movie theater or a school or church or temple or down the street and gun down fellow Americans. That is not what the Second Amendment is supposed to protect.

And these politicians have been cowered by the NRA and the gun lobby for too long. It is time they stood up and said enough.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Of course, back when it was written, it took 10 minutes to load a gun as well. Let's talk about the Alex Jones interview. You're English, and I'm Australian. We look at it from an outsider's perspective, and some people are shocked by what they see in terms of the types of guns readily available.

You have say Jones' rant about despots taking away guns back fired. One Twitter follower agrees with that. I think we've got a graphic to show you. He says this. "I think he" -- meaning you -- "handled him perfectly, sat back and let Alex make his own noose."

I thought the same thing when I was watching the interview. Did you feel that it did back fire on him?

MORGAN: Honestly, I thought it was the best advertisement for gun control I could possibly have put on air. Alex Jones represents a very extreme -- very influential, very vocal part of gun lobby in America. He rants like this every day to millions of Americans, most of them whom believe what he says.

This is a guy who believes that President Bush, his administration, ordered the 9/11 disaster, for example. So you're talking with people who are scary in their thought process. And they believe that any government that wants any form of gun control after any massacres is attacking the Second Amendment. And in my case, they want to deport me, which would infringe my First Amendment rights, which is ridiculous.

You and I come from countries that both saw, in the mid-'90s, big massacres. In Tasmania, just off Australia, Dunblane in Scotland, 35 died in Tasmania, 16 in Dunblane, all still children. In both countries, there was such national outrage and a unanimous view from the politicians of the countries, in your case, a right wing politician, John Howard, in Britain, first John Major and then Tony Blair, so right and left. And really significant gun control was brought in, outlawing all forms of assault weapons and most handguns.

And guess what? In Australia, you haven't had a mass shooting since 1996. And in Britain, we have had two much smaller mass shootings, but not a single shooting at a school, and a gun murder rate of about 35 people a year, which I think is similar to Australia.

In America, 11,000 people are murdered with guns a year. 18,000 take their own lives with guns a year. 100,000 Americans are hit by gunfire a year. And every time one of these massacres happens, all I hear is the gun lobby saying, don't touch our guns. Well, sorry, we're going to touch some of your guns because that's what a humane society does. It says, these assault rifles are killing Americans, there is no reason for them, we're going to take them off the street.

And I applaud Michael Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo and President Obama and Joe Biden and the others, for finally, I think, getting what most decent civilized Americans want.

It is not about taking away people's handguns at home to defend their families. I get that. That is what I think the founding fathers intended by the Second Amendment. This is about removing machine guns from the streets of America.


ROMANS: We don't know how many guns there are on streets of America. We don't know exactly how many guns are sold every year, in part, because we don't count them. We don't. The United States does not count gun sales.

I won't to show you a graphic. FBI background checks, you can see a record year for background checks, left side of your screen. 2.8 million in December alone, up 39 percent from the month before. Experts say it is because of the Christmas holidays and the rush after Newtown.

A lot of gun enthusiasts thinking that something had changed in this country, and they wanted to load up on guns and ammo, you know, in case there are going to be controls down the line.

The industry also likes to point out there are 209,000 jobs associated with the gun industry with an economic impact $31.8 billion. The CDC cost to society is $42 billion from gun violence.

Now, one of the biggest sellers of guns in the world, Wal-Mart. It is the biggest seller of everything. And it did an about-face this week on meeting with vice president's gun violence task force. The nation's largest retailer said it was too busy to attend the meetings in Washington this week. The company said executives are taking part in monthly sales meetings instead at the headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, and there wasn't enough time to change the calendar. Today, Wal-Mart changed its mind, it will participate. A spokesman says, "We underestimated the expectation to attend the meeting on Thursday in person so we are sending an appropriate representative to participate now." So there will be someone from Wal-Mart at the table with the vice president and the others, participating in this very important discussion on a way forward, a path forward on gun violence in America.


ROMANS: Some people are taking aim at Hollywood right now, accusing the film industry of making violent movies that help escalate gun violence in real life. Ben Stein just told us this, this hour.

Here's CNN entertainment correspondent, Nischelle Turner.




TURNER: -- and gunshots. Violence on screen is the bread and butter of the blockbuster machine. And blaming the industry for inspiring real-life tragedy is as old as Hollywood itself. But in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, as Americans looked for answers, the head of the NRA directly linked the tragedy to Hollywood.

WAYNE LAPIERRE, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION: There exists in this country sadly a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people.

TURNER: Action star and politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger, calls that accusation simplistic and inaccurate.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, ACTOR & FORMER CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: You have to look at the gun laws. And you have to look at everything. Every aspect of it has to be looked rather than just one thing.

TURNER: Some stars came together after the Newtown massacre for an anti-gun public service announcement.


BEYONCE, SINGER: For the children of Sandy Hook --



TURNER: But the contradiction between Hollywood's steady diet of onscreen shootouts and the gun-control message in the PSA has brought out a backlash of critics. This YouTube remix of the ad, ridiculing the celebrities involved, matches some of them with film clips where they're using a gun. The video has been seen and liked on YouTube by hundreds of thousands of people.





TURNER: But one actor in the PSA doesn't want people jumping to conclusions about what he believes personally.

JEREMY RENNER, ACTOR: It is important for me to do and an honor to do. I'm for guns. I own guns. And I don't think, you know, I don't think guns kill people. I think people kill people. It's a deeper issue than that.

TURNER: What is clear already is the most recent mass shootings have some in Hollywood thinking differently about their professional choices.

Ben Affleck is one of them.

BEN AFFLECK, ACTOR: I think filmmakers do have a responsibility. I don't permit my children to watch a lot of things and I'm on it as much as I can. But, you know, as a filmmaker you also have to ask yourself, like, where is my line?


TURNER: The man who played Rambo and made a career out of action movies, he thinks what's seen on the screen can spill over to reality.

SYLVESTER STALLONE, ACTOR: Do films have an impact on people? Yes.

TURNER: He says he would hope movie violence comes with an underlying moral, but concedes that's not always the case.

STALLONE: If you're going to do a film like that, that has that kind of violence, there has to be a certain morality that good triumphs over evil, and that it is not random. Like, so many times, we've seen in action films a guy runs in, he's after the bad guy, but four other people get killed on the subway and we never even look at them. Oh, yes, I've done it myself, boom.

TURNER: The soul searching in Hollywood seems more genuine this time. But the question is, will it really have any impact on the kinds of movies that are being made?

Nischelle Turner, CNN, Hollywood.


ROMANS: Let's hope the conversation is just beginning.

That's it for me. CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Brooke Baldwin.