A lobbyist for the National Rifle Association (NRA) says anti-gun protesters have targeted his home at least twice, including spraying his house in Virginia with fake blood and protesting at his wife’s business.
Chris Cox, an NRA lobbyist who lives in Alexandria, just outside of Washington, D.C., claims that left-wing protesters have stood outside his wife’s interior design business to hand out flyers, created an anti-Cox website and created posters with photos of child victims of gun violence to hold outside his home.
An attorney for the family told The Washington Post in a statement that the protestors’ tactics have “crossed the line.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Cox have been targeted over the past few months by repeated acts of criminal and unlawful conduct, including having their home vandalized on two occasions,” attorney Elizabeth Locke said. “These coordinated tactics have crossed the line of civility and human decency.”
Patricia Hill, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was arrested after allegedly spraying the blood on the Coxs' home in January and charged with misdemeanor property destruction. She also allegedly sprayed the substance last October.
Amanda Gailey, also a UNL professor, and Catherine Koebel, a biologist, are co-founders of activist group The Great American Gun Melt. They have kept their protests to holding signs and handing out flyers, and told the Post that police confirmed their protest was legal.
Koebel claims that Cox’s wife, Courtney Cox, knocked Koebel’s phone out of her hand during a brief confrontation outside Cox’s interior design business, and scratched her, prompting Koebel to file a police complaint.
Cox strongly denies Koebel's description of their interaction, her attorney told The Hill.
Gailey and Koebel said their aim is to introduce a more radical, further-left approach to gun control activism, and to shame Cox in his own home, rather than at NRA headquarters, where he could easily ignore it, according to The Washington Post.
Betsy Riot, an anonymous activist group who has taken responsibility for creating the anti-Cox website, told the Post that the gun-control movement has “needed a left flank for decades.”
The NRA has been the target of protests and boycotts for years, but the anti-gun movement has ramped up its actions in recent months, following the deadly mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school in February, which pressured dozens of companies and organizations into cutting ties with the gun group.
— Updated 9:16 a.m.