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CBS Asks If Gun Industry Puts Profits Above 'Human Lives'

CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King asked former Obama chief of staff William Daley on Wednesday if the gun industry is putting profits ahead of people's lives.

"They're protecting an industry. They're protecting big profits. And that's what it's about," Daley slammed the gun industry. King then teed him up: "This is more important than human lives?"

[Video below. Audio here.]

Daley answered yes, "To many people, money is more important than human lives and that's what the disgrace of this thing is." In CBS's lengthy interview with Daley that spanned multiple issues, King framed her first question around President Obama possibly not doing enough to push gun control.

"Let's talk about gun control. The President was not able to get it passed even after Sandy Hook, and now with this latest shooting at the D.C. Navy Yard, is there anything more he should or can be doing on this?" she asked. Daley blamed the gun industry and the American people's inability to recognize their cynical pursuit of profits.  

"They're protecting big profits. And that's what it's about. And until the American people see that and the elected officials see that, we won't get sensible gun laws. And that's a disgrace," he ranted.

In a news brief moments earlier, co-host Norah O'Donnell highlighted the Democratic push for gun control a day after the Navy Yard shooting. CBS played a clip of President Obama defending his executive actions on guns and pressing Congress to pass gun control legislation.

Below is a transcript of the exchange, which aired on CBS This Morning on September 18 at 8:09 a.m. EDT:

GAYLE KING: Let's talk about gun control. The President was not able to get it passed even after Sandy Hook, and now with this latest shooting at the D.C. Navy Yard, is there anything more he should or can be doing on this?

WILLIAM DALEY: I think until the American people can stand up and say enough of this – the truth of the matter is I spent time in the banking business. And a lot of the politicians like to beat up the bankers. This is a big business, gun industry. This is not about, only about rights of people. Sure there's a Second Amendment. This is a big business, multiple billions of dollars. That's what this is about. They're protecting an industry. They're protecting big profits. And that's what it's about. And until the American people see that and the elected officials see that, we won't get sensible gun laws. And that's a disgrace.

KING: This is more important than human lives?

DALEY: To many people, money is more important than human lives and that's what the disgrace of this thing is.

— Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matt Hadro on Twitter.