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Outrage Over "Gun Appreciation Day"; Pastor Pulls out of Inauguration; Boeing 787 Undergo Federal Review; Kosar: A Gift from God

Aired January 11, 2013 - 09:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and thank you for joining us. I'm Carol Costello. It is 30 minutes past the hour.

Stories we're watching right now in THE NEWSROOM:

U.S. stocks are poised to open lower as trading gets under way on Wall Street. Before the opening bell, Wells Fargo reported fourth quarter earnings of $5.1 billion. We're expecting earnings reports today from other major banks. Ringing the bell, the non-profit group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Happening now on Capitol Hill, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announcing a special review of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It follows a week of troubling incidents, two minor problems surfaced today, a cracked cockpit window and an oil leak on two planes in Japan. There was a fuel leak and fire on two other Japanese-based carriers earlier this week.

And in southwest Louisiana, flooding from days of heavy rain forcing many people from their homes. The governor has declared a state of emergency. The National Weather Service says at least two tornadoes struck southwest of Baton Rouge, no injuries reported but more storms are expected this weekend.

For many it was an alarming sight, two men walking through the streets of Portland, Oregon, with assault rifles strapped to their backs. They were hoping people would ask them about gun rights, but police said they scared people. Store owners scrambled to safety and others called 911.

Both men have concealed handgun licenses and openly carrying firearms is legal in Oregon. The men said they were trying to educate people.


WARREN DROUIN, DEMONSTRATOR: We're not threatening anyone. We don't have that criminal behavior.

STEVEN BOYCE, CONCEALED HANDGUN LICENSE HOLDER: This happens to open that line of communication to let people know you can defend yourself in a time of crisis or any time that you want to.

TIMOTHY HEATH, BUSINESS OWNER: If you're scaring people, you're not advancing your cause. So that's not the ideal way to try to present your point of view.


COSTELLO: Still, Portland police recommend you call 911 if you see an armed person on the street, despite the fact these two guys what they did was perfectly legal.

January 19th, next weekend, gun rights activists will hold their version of Chick-fil-A appreciation day. It's called Gun Appreciation Day. Activists want you to, quote, "go to your local gun store, gun range or gun show with your Constitution, American flags and your 'hands off my guns' signs to send a loud and clear message to Congress and President Obama."

Gun control advocates say the idea is a slap in the face to Americans. It's being held the same weekend at President Obama's inauguration and it's Martin Luther King Day. They started a petition to stop Gun Appreciation Day. Now, it has more than 25,000 signatures.

Joining us now from Washington are: Larry Ward. He's the chairman of Gun Appreciation Day. And Maria Roach, she's the founder of United for Change USA, the group that started the petition.

Welcome to you both.



COSTELLO: Larry, let's start with you. Well, let's start with a simple question. Why Gun Appreciation Day?

WARD: Well, Gun Appreciation Day came about because on the first day of the 113th Congress, there were nine gun control laws introduced and Dianne Feinstein, you know, according to reports, is set to introduce her bill on the 22nd, and we felt like we need to have a swift, strong response.

COSTELLO: And how does that figure in to preventing tragedies in Newtown, this Gun Appreciation Day?

WARD: Well, the Second Amendment is vital to our freedom and liberty, and, you know, the -- yes, Adam Lanza not only broke 41 laws when he went into the Newtown school and killed those innocent children, but, you know, he went in with a stolen gun. You know, the gun control laws were there. It was a gun-free school zone, and still the tragedy happened.

COSTELLO: And you're not suggesting people like the guys in Oregon carry guns openly on the streets. You're suggesting they take them to gun ranges and gun stores. Is that right?

WARD: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.

The thing about the Second Amendment, you know, which is very important to understand is just like the police officer. A police officer doesn't necessarily need to draw his gun. As a matter of fact, a lot of police officers go their entire careers without drawing their gun but having the gun on their holster, knowing that the police officer has a gun deters people from robbing say a store, right?

And, you know, knowing that the citizenry has guns deters the government from robbing our liberty.

COSTELLO: Maria, talk about what makes this day so offensive in your mind?

ROACH: Carol, the timing, there are common sense, sensible ways to exercise your Second Amendment rights, and then there's theater. And I believe that Mr. Ward and the other organizations that are joining on supporting Gun Appreciation Day are really focused on theater, and not on solutions.

Yes, absolutely, I think Larry and I both agree that we want guns in the hands of law-abiding, mentally capable citizens. We do not want guns in the hands of people who are mentally incapable of carrying a firearm or for those who have criminal intent, and I think too much of the argument and the discussion and the discourse this week is focused on just theater, ways that organizations are looking to fundraise and build their membership, not on keeping our family safe.

Larry and I both have 6-year-old children. We both, I believe, felt the pain of seeing children gunned down in Newtown. I think we both believe that there are many things that could be done differently to keep guns out of the hands of those with illegal intent. I think --

COSTELLO: Well, let's talk about the theater issue with Larry, because for some people, seeing people carrying weapons out in the open, it is intimidating. It scares them. It has the opposite effect of what you're probably after.

WARD: Well, here's -- first, I'd like to address the Martin Luther King Day charge. And I want to say whole-heartedly and this is sincere, if you let me explain, I believe that Gun Appreciation Day honors the legacy of Dr. King. First of all, we're looking for a peaceful protest, looking for people to come out and to let and remind the members of Congress and the president how we feel about our Second Amendment.

And the truth is, I think Martin Luther King would agree with me if he were alive today that if African-Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country's founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history, and --

ROACH: I think that is --

WARD: -- I believe it's essential to liberty.

COSTELLO: Maria? I know Maria's itching to comment.

ROACH: That is ridiculous. Slavery means that you are a possession. Slaves were a possession, just like a gun. So, to say that if slaves had been armed, first that's theater. So let's talk about the real issues.

WARD: No, it's not theater.

ROACH: It's similar to the theater in Aurora that wanted to have a memorial service for the victims there, but they forgot to talk to victims, and what they thought was a great idea became offensive. Your Gun Appreciation Day on the whole it's your right, it's your American right, but you didn't speak to anyone about it.

And I think that in itself speaks to the theater. There is selfish, self-serving intent in a Gun Appreciation Day. If you speak to it -- and I've spoken to many people, thousands of people, they are outraged that you would plan your event two days before an American icon day that we celebrate nationally who was murdered, he was slain by a rifle.

I think we need to step back and really question, what is the intent of this Gun Appreciation Day? Why not appreciate victims? Why not appreciate the Second Amendment?

But Gun Appreciation Day is really a power play. That's what it speaks to me.

WARD: It's the --

ROACH: That's what it speaks to the 25,000 people.


SAMBOLIN: But we have to wrap it up right now, I apologize.

ROACH: Please join me on and sign the petition against Gun Appreciation Day.

WARD: And go to Gun Appreciation Day and show up on January 19th.

SAMBOLIN: I appreciate the even-tempered conversation. It was actually a nice change of pace.

Larry Ward, Maria Roach, thank you very much. We'll be right back.

WARD: Thank you. Have a good one.


COSTELLO: You may not have heard of her before yesterday, but Quvenzhane Wallis is quickly becoming a household name, even with that name. She -- of course, she's the new youngest best actress nominee in history. Now, thanks to her performance in "Beasts of the Southern Wild", which is also nominated for best picture.

A.J. Hammer joins me from New York.

Quvenzhane, she wasn't even completely awake when she was nominated. Tell us more of his story. She's just such a cutie. A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT HOST: Well, you know, she was in L.A. when the announcement was made yesterday morning. It's just 5:30 there at the time.

But somebody thankfully woke her up so she could watch the announcements of the nominations. And obviously it turned in to be a smart move.

Here's what she told us after we caught up with her after she got her big news.


QUVENZHANE WALLIS, BEST ACTRESS NOMINEE: In the hotel room, half asleep, saw my name just rolling down like this, and on the inside I was excited, I was excited, and just sitting there, boom! I hear stuff just speaking about the film, you, me, stuff like that.


HAMMER: She is an Oscar nominee but she is just a kid, Carol. I love her story.

It's great to se her get so long much attention. I think she'll be one of the big stories of the Oscar season, obviously, because it's so fascinating. Hopefully, she'll have a lot of fun in the process.

But, Carol, she was 5 years old when she auditioned for the movie. She was 6 when she shot it. She'll be 9 when she appears at the Oscars next month.

So a third of her life has passed since she made this movie.


COSTELLO: That's a weird way to look at it but a fun way. She's awesome. Let's talk about Dr. McDreamy, he was supposed to buy this coffee shop and then something happened, and now it's back on, but now it's off. What's up?

HAMMER: Yes, this bums me out, and I think it's bumming Patrick Dempsey out. The other bidders in the process are upset over how Patrick Dempsey and his group won the auction for Tully's coffee. They were going out of business, these guys stepped.

But Agrinurture Inc. is a company from the Philippines. They've gone to court to have their bid heard. They apparently teamed with Starbucks to form this joint offer. Together apparently, their bid is $1.5 million than Dempsey's groups, $9.15 million offer.

Now, Agrinurture and Starbucks say the bidding process was flawed because the joint offer was worth so much more.

So, the decision is up to a bankruptcy judge in Seattle. They're going to hear the arguments later today and eventually make a decision as to who will ultimately run this company. So, I'm think this has to be very discouraging to Dempsey, because when we first reported the news he was so excited to take over this company and preserve the brand, but really the stakes are the highest for the 500 employees of Tully's who are wondering who is going to take charge here.

So, Carol, for their sakes, let's hope this gets resolved real quickly.

COSTELLO: I hope so. A.J. Hammer, thanks at usual.

A.J. will be back with us in the next hour with more showbiz headlines, including what sounds like a huge announcement for Justin Timberlake's fans.


COSTELLO: Forty-seven minutes past the hour. Time to check our "Top Stories". President Obama will take the oath of office for his second term in a little more than a week from now but his inaugural committee is scrambling to replace one key speaker, that would be Pastor Louis Giglio.

He says he will no longer give the benediction amid criticism about a sermon he gave in the 1990s about homosexuality, a sermon one liberal Web site labeled as anti-gay.

But Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council finds Giglio's decision to pull out of the inaugural event troublesome.


TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: What's shocking here I think is that this is further evidence of a desire to sanitize the public square of anyone who holds to biblical morality.


COSTELLO: Giglio is the leader of the passion movement which recently wrapped up a conference in Atlanta that attracted more than 60,000 college students.

The future of Afghanistan and the plan to withdraw U.S. troops will be discussed today and meetings with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and of Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai. Both heads of state will take part in a joint news conference coming up -- a little, coming up in just about three hours from now.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Gloria Borger will anchor our live special coverage.

Boeing's newest airliner are about to undergo another federal review. The Department of Transportation is going to conduct a comprehensive review of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner's critical systems including design, manufacturing and assembly. Secretary Ray LaHood spoke just moments ago. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAY LAHOOD, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: We will look for the root causes of recent events and do everything we can to ensure these events don't happen again.


COSTELLO: The 787 has had a difficult week, several jets were involved in public incidents, including a fire in the battery compartment and a fuel leak.

Some amazing pictures to show you out of Australia. Check this out. Wow. It's a red dust storm. It looks almost like a wall of fire, doesn't it? It comes on the outskirts of a strong tropical cyclone off the northwest coast of Australia. It covered homes and cars and stuff but no serious damage to report, amazing. We'll be right back.


COSTELLO: All right. "Talk Back" question of the day. "Should we welcome pastors in the public square despite their views on homosexuality?"

This from Melissa. "Well, we have freedom of speech and that means the freedom to not listen to hate-filled speeches."

This from Sophie, "There's no need for a pastor at an inauguration in my opinion. It would be more impartial and inclusive without it."

This from Michael, "Sure, but I think religion should be taxed if they get involved in politics."

This from Darin, "Like them or not, they have every right to be part of the process. Give the dude an opportunity to put forth his current ideas before you toast him. People learn and people change."

And this from Scott, "I have no problem with the pastor speaking, although my opinion differs from his. I would welcome his presence and speech."

Keep the conversation going or tweet @CarolCNN.

Headaches, ears ringing, sleepless nights. Bernie Kosar former NFL quarterback has had them all after playing ball. Now Kosar says a new treatment has stopped his symptoms.


COSTELLO: As we got confirmation that Junior Seau did indeed suffer from the brain disease CTE, another former NFL player who took multiple hits spoke of hope for his future.

Vince Cellini is here to talk about former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar. I hope the treatment he's getting really does work. VINCE CELLINI, BLEACHER REPORT: Yes, so far it has given him great progress and I think that that's hope not only for Bernie but for other players who might be suffering.

Bernie Kosar, great player with the Cleveland Browns and a couple of other teams. 13 years in the NFL. Suffered at least a dozen concussions that he knows of, and he used to keep a packet of smelling salts in his uniform in case he got dinged during a game.

For the past decade he suffered from headaches and ringing in his ears, insomnia, slurred speech, but he says that now he's turned a corner thanks to some groundbreaking medical treatment from Tampa, Florida based doctor Rick Sponaugle. This is Bernie.


BERNIE KOSAR, FORMER CLEVELAND BROWNS QUARTERBACK: After just a few weeks of treatment, you know, really a few weeks of treatment, to be able to not have the ringing ears, to not have the headaches and, again, to be able to sleep through the night, no need for the medications, you know, all that stuff, it's been -- and, again not to be over religious or try to preach to you, but this is all happening during the holidays and I really thought it was like, a gift from God.


CELLINI: Well, Dr. Sponaugle has been in touch with the NFL. They seem interested, so moving forward maybe this is going to offer relief for many more players.

COSTELLO: I know a little bit about how this supposedly works. It increases the blood flows to Bernie Kosar's veins, he takes something intravenously that does that.

CELLINI: Right. And dietary supplements as well but only in a few short weeks this type of treatment has offered him relief. And you know, again, there's just so many players that are now coming forward saying, look, I need help and this could be the light at the end of the tunnel for us.

COSTELLO: And just talk about the contrast. To hear him at the press conference, he seems relatively, you know, well-spoken --


COSTELLO: But before, you've heard Bernie Kosar, he's had trouble speaking.

CELLINI: Right. Bernie's always been very eloquent, he's a Youngstown guy, so he's got a little bit of that regional accent. But there was slurred speech. He had done a radio spot up in Cleveland and at that time, it was disturbing to hear him and his delivery. And he became emotional, couldn't get the words out, you know. People were speculating as to what might be wrong. So he's come forward with this and hopefully now Bernie has turned a corner because he's such a hero in Cleveland with the Browns fans. COSTELLO: He certainly is. And you know, nobody deserves to live out the rest of their life with such damage.

CELLINI: Correct. Right.

COSTELLO: Let's talk about the NBA, last year for the Kings in Sacramento?

CELLINI: Well, so we think. Just a couple of days ago, Carol, this deal with Seattle was described as first in goal at the one moving the Kings up to Seattle. The Sonics have lost basketball since 2008.

However, this $500 million deal is not final right now. The Maloof family owns the Kings. They had had dalliances in places like Virginia Beach and also Anaheim. They had a handshake deal with the city of Sacramento last year for a new arena -- that fell through.

And now the latest snag may be the Maloof family keeping a small percentage of the team if it goes to Seattle and saying that they'd like some say-so in how the team is run which to me and Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento trying to keep the team in town. To me it sounds like Carol, I'd buy your house and then you tell me how I decorate it. If you own a small percentage, I think you relinquish all of that say-so.

All right. Moving on, we've got the NFL playoffs this weekend. We're moving closer to a championship and here's how it's going to play out. On Saturday the games the Ravens into subzero Denver or subfreezing Denver, I should say, where Peyton Manning 0-3 in play-off games where the temperature is below 40 degrees. It will be 20s with some snow.

San Francisco will be playing the Green Bay Packers and then on Sunday Seahawks travel to Atlanta to take on the NFC's top-seeded Falcons, and also Houston looking to avenge an earlier loss to the New England Patriots.

COSTELLO: Any predictions?

CELLINI: I think that Peyton Manning will be fine in this Ravens game. He's the best in (inaudible) in the NFL.


CELLINI:, all your news.

COSTELLO: Thanks, Vince Cellini. We appreciate it.

CELLINI: Thanks Carol. Good seeing you.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM begins right now.

Stories we're watching right now in the NEWSROOM --

At this hour Afghan president, Hamid Karzai heads to the White House for a face-to-face meeting with President Obama and the U.S. roll in Afghanistan's future.