Kentucky GOP candidate threatens to shoot congressman for mocking the NRA

"Move it over just a bit. I was trained center mass."

Carl Nett. Credit: Youtube/Carl for Kentucky
Carl Nett. Credit: Youtube/Carl for Kentucky

Carl Nett, a Republican candidate for Kentucky secretary of state, tweeted Tuesday a reference to shooting Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY), who was boasting about his F rating from the National Rifle Association. “Move it over just a bit,” the tweet read. “I was trained center mass.”

“Center mass” refers to how police officers are trained to aim. Nett, a former Secret Service and CIA officer, would have been trained as such.


Nett has since deleted the tweet and tweeted a new response, insisting he would have died protecting any of the liberal officials he was previously tasked to cover.

According to the Courier Journal, one of Nett’s old deleted tweets contradicted this sentiment. In December 2016, he tweeted that he “bailed” after protecting President Obama only a few times. “I’m not a bullet sponge for just anybody,” he reportedly said.

Several tweets Nett hasn’t deleted further speak to his support for guns and his lack of sympathy for victims of gun violence. In the wake of the Parkland shooting, Nett tweeted his explicit support for arming teachers.

Nett carries a gun himself, including to church. He also advocates for legalizing concealed carry.

As for how Nett feels about lawmakers he disagrees with, after President Trump’s State of the Union address, Nett claimed that all Democrats “hate America.”

A preponderance of Nett’s tweets recognize police officers who have died in the line of duty. Not only does he never recognize any other victims of gun violence, these tweets also indicate a foundation of racism that undergirds his support for gun rights. Most of the tweets include the hashtag #ThinBlueLine, but on one occasion, he used #BlueLivesMatter. A response to #BlackLivesMatter, #BlueLivesMatter ignores the history of systemic racism African-Americans have experienced and instead argues that violence against police officers should be considered a hate crime.


In one particular tweet last fall, Nett highlighted three different black police officers who had all recently been killed in the line of duty. “These Black Lives Mattered!” he wrote.

A spokesman for Yarmuth’s office told the Courier Journal that Capitol Police “have directed officers to be diligent in reporting all threats to members’ safety. They are aware of this situation.” Likewise, FBI Louisville is “aware of the tweet and is working with our law enforcement partners to determine the best course of action.”

Democrats and Republicans alike have condemned Nett’s tweet. Kentucky GOP spokesman Tres Watson called the tweet “inappropriate,” stating, “We condemn any suggestion of violence against public servants, even if in jest.” One of Nett’s opponents in the Republican secretary of state primary, Michael Adams, likewise said that the tweet was “not only morally wrong, but embarrassing for the Republican Party, and Kentucky.”

UPDATE: Tuesday evening, Nett tweeted an apology to Yarmuth if he felt offended, explaining that his threat to shoot the congressman was the result of “foot-in-mouth” disease.