LGBTQ+ group threatened with ‘slaughter’ after Nashville school shooting

A Maryland man has been charged with threatening a prominent LGBTQ+ organisation in response to the March shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, in which the shooter was identified as trans.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Adam Michael Nettina with interstate communications with a threat to injure after he left a violent voicemail at Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Washington D.C. headquarters the day after the shooting, 28 March 2023.

Nettina threatened to “slaughter”, shoot and assault members of the organisation.

The transcript of the voicemail was included in the criminal complaint, which revealed the extent of his violent threats.

“You guys going to shoot up our schools now? Is that how it’s going to be? You just gonna to kill little kids,” Nettina said.

“You’re just going to slaughter f***ing little kids. Let me tell you something, we’re waiting, we’re waiting. And if you want a war, we’ll have a war. And we’ll f**ing slaughter you back.

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“We’ll cut your throats. We’ll put a bullet in your head. We’re not going to give a f**k. You started this bullsh*t. You’re going to kill us? We’re going to kill you 10 times more in full.”

The comments seemingly refer to the shooting in Nashville where Audrey Hale killed three adults and three nine-year-old students at the private Christian school.

According to a DOJ press release, Nettina appeared in court on Monday (3 April) in Baltimore. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.

A makeshift memorial outside Covenant School following the shooting, on 28 March 28. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

HRC spokesperson Elizabeth Bibi told Advocate: “The LGBTQ+ community is under attack in state houses across the country and on social media platforms. This violent, hateful rhetoric leads to stigma, and stigma leads to physical violence.

“As we see radical politicians sow hate and fear with anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, we have seen the physical threats to our community multiply, from armed men at Pride parades, to threats of violence against local drag shows at libraries, to bomb threats at children’s hospitals, to the continued rise in fatal violence against members of our community, especially Black transgender women.”

Right-wing backlash to Nashville shooting

Right-wingers have used the Nashville shooting as political fodder to escalate anti-trans rhetoric.

Following the shooting, Fox News host Tucker Carlson featured a photo of the shooter on his show, alongside the words “Trans Killer” and “We are witnessing the rise of trans violence.”

Hard-line Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene blamed the shooting on hormones such as testosterone, although there was no evidence that Hale was on hormone therapy.

Trump-supporter Greene wrote: “How much hormones like testosterone and medications for mental illness was the transgender Nashville school shooter taking? Everyone can stop blaming guns now.”

Although Republicans have been quick to ascribe violence to trans people because of the Nashville shooting, the majority of shooters in the U.S are still overwhelmingly cis white men.

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