Goosing the NRA For Immediate Release: May 17, 2000 Contact Information: Paul Bonfanti Silent March 328 Flatbush Avenue PMB 405 Brooklyn, NY 11238 (516) 247-9101 Ellen Freudenheim of the Silent March will speak at a protest at the NRA Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend scheduled for at 7:00 PM, May 20th at the Great Aunt Stella Center, and will challenge responsible gun owners and hunters to join in the crusade for a safer America by signing a new Silent March petition called Gun Owners Out to Stop the Epidemic --or the GOOSE petition. The GOOSE petition reads: "Who knows better than a hunter the power of a firearm? The Gun Owners Ought to Stop the Epidemic petition calls on all responsible hunters and gun owners to support commonsense regulation in addition to gun safety education and responsible ownership." The petition will be found on the website www.silentmarch.org on May 20th. The Silent March, a national grassroots organization dedicated to reducing gun death in the US to levels comparable to other industrialized nations, will display hundreds of pairs of empty shoes showing the human toll taken by the epidemic of US gun death. Locally, mothers of murdered children and other victims will bring shoes to the protest. Hundreds of shoes are also being sent "in a show of moral support" by activists from Denver, Colorado, site of last year's NRA convention protest. Recently Colorado activists displayed 4223 pairs of empty shoes to show the number of youthful gun deaths in America. After Saturday's event, all of the shoes displayed in Charlotte will be shipped to Philadelphia where they will join in a massive display of 30,000 pairs of empty shoes to show the annual US gun death toll (1997 data) , to be mounted in protest the weekend of the Republican National Convention, at the Liberty Bell, on July 29th and 30th. The shoes will also be displayed at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, in mid August. Silent March state events are being planned in 40 states by volunteer coordinators, who will then ship the shoes to the political conventions. "One would have to be a silly goose not to want to stop the gun violence in America,and hunters in particular could be an important voice in this debate", said Freudenheim. The Silent March, and "most other mainstream organizations" in the gun violence prevention arena are not advocating gun bans or confiscation. Referencing last November's uproar over a North Carolina high school's raffling off hunting rifles and shotguns, Freudenheim, a native New Yorker, offered a raffle of two free tickets to the famed Broadway show, Lion King to any gun owners who sign the GOOSE petition during the NRA Convention. The petition can be found on the Silent March website, www.silentmarch.org. and the raffle will be drawn on June 1.