Posted with permission from Rare

The threat of political violence and the effect of rhetoric on those who perpetrate it has been a topic of discussion on and off since the shooting in Alexandria, Va., carried out by 66-year-old James Hodgkinson, who targeted Republican lawmakers as they practiced in advance of the 2017 Congressional baseball game.

RELATED: The Alexandria shooter’s anger toward the government was evident as far back as 2011 in this interview

Watch the video

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was the most seriously wounded and has been in the hospital since June 14. As of Saturday, Scalise was still listed in serious condition after undergoing another surgery and has a long road to recovery ahead, the Times-Picayune reported.

Although the warning signs were there with Hodgkinson — whether through comments he made in interviews, comments he made on Facebook or through his arrest history — he slipped through the cracks.

This time, a potential crisis has been averted, as a man who spoke openly about the fact that he “could kill” Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) at the Harley-Davision dealership in Pacific Junction, Iowa, she was scheduled to speak at days later was reported to the FBI by employees.

KETV/screenshot, AP/J. Scott Applewhite

Robert William Simet, 64, was arrested on Friday by FBI agents in Omaha, Neb., and charged with threatening a U.S. official. Simet is accused of telling a motorcycle business employee that he “could kill� Sen. Ernst on Saturday and that he believed “everyone in the government needs to be killed off.�

The employee told authorities about Simet’s Wednesday visit, in which he also alleged Ernst was a member of ISIS.

As you can see in the video above, Ernst appeared at the Saturday event as planned.


RELATED: The first video of the armed assault on Republicans at a baseball practice has emerged, and it is frightening

Dr. Glenn Hurst, a longtime friend of Simet’s, told the Omaha World-Herald that he “wasn’t surprised when [he] heard about what he said,” but that his friend is “not a bad guy. He’s a sick guy.â€�

Hurst said he would respond in the past to inflammatory texts by saying, “Bob, I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” and that this would be enough.

The friend added that Simet told him he was diagnosed with schizophrenia after suffering a psychotic break more than a decade ago.

Hurst claims that this was a mental health issue, not a “Democrats versus Republicans issue,” though it is notable that Hurst is on a committee called Indivisible Nebraskans that has been opposing the repeal and replace of Obamacare.

“It’s about a sick individual with a good heart who needs help,” Hurst said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.