Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti said it is "not clear" that emphasizing gun control following the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, will help Democrats in 2020.
Continetti pointed to the 2016 election, saying in a panel on MSNBC's Meet the Press Daily that emphasizing the issue did not help Hillary Clinton's campaign.
"I would say I think the contrast helped President Trump," Continetti said, adding that Trump scored points against Clinton at a debate in 2016 when he challenged her on her willingness to repeal the Supreme Court's Heller decision. That 2008 case upheld an individual's right to keep firearms, unconnected to any militia or other law enforcement use.
"I think the Trump campaign at the time made a lot of political hay out of that," Continetti said. "So this contrast, while the political pendulum may have shifted to the left on some of these issues, it is not clear that making gun control front and center will benefit the Democrats in 2020."
In the aftermath of the most recent shootings, a number of Democratic 2020 candidates have come out in favor of strengthening gun control measures. A day after the shootings, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro jumped on the opportunity to push for stricter gun control laws.
"The answer is to make sure those guns never get in the hands of people like that in the first place," Castro told CNN.
Other 2020 Democratic candidates, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), along with former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, called for stricter gun control laws as well.
CNN announced Monday that the network will be hosting a town hall later this week to discuss the possibility of pushing more gun control legislation in Congress. The network held a similar town hall after last year's shooting in Parkland, Fla., in which gun control advocates heckled those who took the opposing view.