To say that gun controllers hate the National Rifle Association is kind of like saying Formula One cars are kind of fast. It’s just a bit of an understatement.

However, despite their rabid, seething hatred for the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, their vitriol tends to be contained to venues most of us would consider appropriate. Their protests are annoying, but not outside of the bounds of not just the First Amendment, but also good taste.

Apparently, that isn’t enough for them these days.

NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox and his family have reportedly been targeted by anti-gun vandals both at his home and at his wife’s place of business.

It’s a new tactic, according to the Washington Post, where gun control activists ramp up the pressure on certain high-profile targets by confronting them at home instead of at the NRA headquarters where they could be more easily ignored.

Cox told the Post that his Alexandria, Virginia home was sprayed with fake blood, and left-wing protesters handed out flyers outside his wife’s interior design business. They also created posters to display outside his home as well as an anti-Cox website.

Cox family attorney Elizabeth Locke called the tactics “criminal and unlawful conduct” in a statement to the Washington Post.

“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,” Locke said. “These coordinated tactics have crossed the line of civility and human decency.”

Tell me about it.

This is an escalation of their protest tactics, and this is seriously crossing a line. However, I also fear it’s just the beginning.

You see, leftists like this tend to believe in the ends justifying the means. Otherwise, why protest outside Cox’s wife’s business? She’s not a lobbyist for the NRA. Why protest there? There, you’re impacting someone other than the person responsible.

What’s happening is these protestors are using collective guilt–which makes sense, considering they’re collectivists at heart anyway–to try and further add to the stigmatization of gun owners. Now, they’re wanting to try and add that stigmatization to anyone and everyone they can that’s attached in any way to the NRA and, most likely, eventually all gun owners.

If this doesn’t produce the desired results, namely pressuring people like Cox to abandon the NRA, then what’s next? They’ve already shown they are more than willing to escalate things beyond what is normally acceptable in an effort to affect whatever change they want. In this case, they’re make it difficult for anyone who works for the NRA.

But what happens when this doesn’t work?

That, I fear, is when things get very ugly. At that point, expect another escalation. If we’re lucky, it’ll begin and end with assault. However, I don’t think we’ll be that fortunate.

Folks, these people are unhinged. To make matters worse, I’m not seeing many from the anti-gun side condemning these kinds of tactics. Then again, when you are convinced your cause is righteous, people can excuse any sort of madness under the premise of the ends justifying the means. Yet, because of the lack of condemnation, this may well happen far more often and with more people than just Cox.

And if the escalation continues, well…expect it to get ugly.