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 HudsonGOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto Lawmakers spend more on personal security in wake of insurrection Pharmaceutical industry donated to two-thirds of Congress ahead of 2020 elections: analysis 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 McConnellHas Trump beaten the system? Yellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Tokyo Olympics kick off with 2020-style opening ceremony 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 KingPence to visit Iowa to headline event for congressman Former Steve King challenger on rural voters in GOP states: 'They hate Democrats' First Democrat announces Senate bid against Iowa's Grassley 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 SandersPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia US launches second Somalia strike in week MORE (I-Vt.) who posted on social media about his negative views toward President TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? 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 WarrenPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia Warren-backed amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to defense bill 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 NadlerHere's what Congress is reading at the beach this summer Activists see momentum as three new states legalize marijuana Supreme Court expansion push starts to fizzle 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.