There is a growing concern that the incessant flood of fiery rhetoric and vitriol among partisans will soon culminate in real violence.
That concern was given a sharp boost on Thursday when an unidentified man was arrested near the Capitol in Washington, D.C. after police discovered a firearm and ammunition in his parked vehicle.
NEW: U.S. Capitol Police arrest man with firearm and ammunition in his vehicle near Capitol Hill this morning.
— ABC News (@ABC) August 2, 2018
According to The Hill, a statement released by the Capitol Police revealed that the discovery was made while officers were engaged in “routine parking enforcement” along New Jersey Avenue around 9 am on Thursday.
The owner of the vehicle arrived as police were checking it out and gave consent for them to search it.
After searching the vehicle, they discovered a firearm, ammunition and “other items” that were left unspecified.
The police said that there was no apparent “nexus to terrorism,” but it is unclear if the Capitol Police were only referring to international terrorism of the radical Islamic variety or were also including domestic terrorism of the deranged partisan variety.
The owner of the vehicle, later identified as Robert Wesley Combs, 23, of Monroe, GA, was ultimately arrested.
He faces charges for an unregistered firearm, unregistered ammunition and interstate transportation of firearms, according to Capitol police. Additional charges are also pending.
Just a short time later after that arrest, the U.S. Secret Service felt compelled to shut off access to the north fence of the White House grounds after a suspicious vehicle was spotted at a nearby checkpoint.
Secret Service Officers and K9 units were alerted to a vehicle at a checkpoint near the @WhiteHouse. The North Fence along Pennsylvania Avenue and Lafayette Park are closed at this time. @DCPoliceDept EOD personnel are responding to the scene.
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) August 2, 2018
It is unclear if the two incidents were connected, and the closure was lifted just a short while later.
Thankfully the police and Secret Service were able to locate and deal with these potential threats before anybody was hurt.
Hopefully, these incidents were not indicative of a broader trend that will lead to actual incidents of violence against innocent people for partisan purposes.