GOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left'

House Republicans recently circulated a memo with talking points on gun violence that seeks to pivot toward highlighting "violence from the left" when faced with questions about the influence of white nationalism.

A memo by Rep. Richard HudsonRichard Lane HudsonGirls Little League softball champions get invitation to White House GOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' Thirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill MORE (R-N.C.) dated Aug. 6 and circulated by the House Republican Conference to rank-and-file members offers Republicans suggestions for how to respond to questions about their resistance to more gun restrictions.

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“In most cases, the media coverage has portrayed Democrats as caring and trying to do something and Republicans as uncaring and unwilling to do anything,” Hudson wrote in the memo obtained by The Hill. “The truth is all Americans are affected by these shootings, and we all want to do something.”

Hudson is allied with GOP leadership and a vocal supporter of gun rights who authored concealed-carry reciprocity legislation that passed in the last Congress while Republicans controlled the House.

Hudson said Republicans can point to legislation while they controlled the House in the last Congress to impose penalties on government agencies that fail to report to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and allow concealed-carry reciprocity if they’re asked what they've done to combat mass shootings.

House Democrats have been calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers run into major speed bumps on spending bills Budowsky: Donald, Boris, Bibi — The right in retreat Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet MORE (R-Ky.) to cut the upper chamber's August recess short to pass their legislation to expand background checks for gun sales in light of mass shootings this month in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

McConnell has rejected the idea, saying there needs to be “bipartisan discussion” first about what lawmakers can pass.

The shooting suspect in El Paso allegedly targeted Mexicans when he opened fire at a Walmart. The suspect also allegedly published an anti-immigrant manifesto decrying a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

Hudson’s suggestion for Republicans facing the question “Do you believe white nationalism is driving more mass shootings recently” was to make a point of also condemning “violence from the left" to highlight history of violence on both sides. While the memo makes a point of rebuking white nationalism, it also makes the argument that there's extremism on the left as well.

“White nationalism and racism are pure evil and cannot be tolerated in any form,” the memo states, citing resolutions the House has passed this year to condemn white nationalism — coming in the aftermath of controversial comments from Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingOcasio-Cortez rips Steve King after he shares video drinking from toilet-fountain hybrid at border Steve King says he drank from toilet at detention center Steve King jokes about China forcing Muslims to eat pork MORE (R-Iowa) — and anti-Semitism.

But the memo goes on to state: “We also can't excuse violence from the left such as the Dayton shooter, the recent Colorado shooters, the Congressional baseball shooter, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords's shooter, and Antifa.”

The Tampa Bay Times first reported on the memo Friday.

The shooter who attacked Republicans at a Congressional Baseball Game practice in June 2017 was a supporter of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE (I-Vt.) who posted on social media about his negative views toward President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE and Republicans. 

But there's little evidence to support the notion that the shooters in Colorado, Dayton or in Tucson, Ariz., for former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords's (D-Ariz.) constituent event in 2011 were motivated by left-wing politics.

The shooting suspect in Dayton, who was killed by police, reportedly expressed misogynistic tendencies and had an obsession with violence and mass shootings, but a clear motive has not been established. 

The Dayton suspect has been linked to a Twitter account that retweeted messages supportive of Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Defense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument MORE (D-Mass.) as well as Antifa.

The shooter that injured Giffords expressed paranoia about government and became obsessed with Giffords. He was later diagnosed with schizophrenia at a federal prison hospital after the January 2011 shooting. 

One of the two high school students accused of opening fire at a Colorado school in May allegedly told police he targeted students who made fun of his gender identity. 

The New York Post reported that the Colorado suspect shared a video from "Late Night with Seth Meyers" criticizing Trump, but didn't offer any indication of the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch.

Some Republicans in recent weeks have expressed openness to so-called red-flag laws to allow authorities to prevent people considered unstable from having guns. Hudson's memo suggested that Republicans emphasize that risk protection orders “must have strong due process protections, requirements for mental health treatment and strict punishment for frivolous charges."

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Nadler's House committee holds a faux hearing in search of a false crime Lewandowski says he's under no obligation to speak truthfully to the media MORE (D-N.Y.) announced Friday that he will bring his panel back from summer break a few days early on Sept. 4 to take up bills to ban the use of high-capacity ammunition magazines, to stop people considered to be a safety risk or convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from having guns. 

“These should not be partisan issues, and it is my hope we can move forward on these matters with support on both sides of the aisle, including the President,” Nadler said in a statement. 

The House Judiciary Committee is also slated to hold a hearing on Sept. 25 on military-style assault weapons. 

Olivia Beavers and Rachel Frazin contributed.

Updated: 6:30 p.m.