RALEIGH (WTVD) --If you've lived in Raleigh there's a good chance you know the name Briggs Hardware. The store has been around since 1865.
But it's a store that rarely gets political; you're not going to see any House Bill 2 signs here.
In fact the vandalism that happened here last week, has the owner calling for a renewed sense of peacefulness in our politics.
Hoping to create some buzz from the presumed November presidential face-off between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Briggs Hardware owner, Evelyn Murray, invested in life-size cutouts of the candidates.
"They're pretty life-like," Murray described. "Absolutely it was an advertising stunt, too. I'd be crazy not to do it."
It cost Murray about $150 for the pair, but she said it was paying off. Many passersby stopped to take pictures and make comments.
"They called her Billary ... or would say Trump is creepy," Murray said.
Then picture-seekers became potential customers.
"Oh, it was fabulous. We'd sit out here and laugh all day long," Murray said about the dozens of young and old who came by for funny and spirited political debates sparked by her cut-outs.
The laughing stopped when the vandals struck.
"Actually a customer came in and said one of your guys fell over," Murray said. "(Vandals) had pulled (the Trump cut-out) over, pulled his head off and it was laying on the ground."
"I was furious. It could've been Hillary, I would've been just as furious," Murray said. "No, they weren't cheap. And I'm a small-business owner and it took my entire life savings to open this store up."
Briggs calls itself an "apolitical"' store -- a tradition passed down from the founder, Thomas Briggs, Murray's great-great-great-great grandfather.
Now, Murray is hoping to bring back another old-fashioned tradition: political civility.
"You don't have to express your opinion in violence," Murray said. "And that's what I'm tired of seeing on both sides."
Murray has locked up the cut-outs in a closet. No more pictures here on Hargett Street.
She's not filing a police report. She doesn't see the point.
What she wants is pretty simple -- an apology.
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