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TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Outdoors program has bad name, good intentions

Sometimes a poor choice of words can undo the best of intentions.

"Step Outside" is a poor name for a program inviting people to carry shotguns, rifles and knives.

The Web site www.stepout

side.org, states: "Research shows that 31 million men and 17 million women would accept an invitation to go target shooting if invited, and interest in the other activities is just as high. They just need a special invitation from you! Think of friends and family you can invite to STEP OUTSIDE with you the next time you spend a day in the outdoors."

The organization has good intentions, and the Web site contains links to safety programs and education pointers for beginner outdoor enthusiasts. But, taken in another context, an invitation to "step outside" has a negative implication.

When John Wayne or Kirk Douglas invited someone to "step outside" in films depicting the Old West, fireworks and blood were sure to follow.

It is an especially unfortunate choice for the name of a program sponsored by an organization that promotes the use of guns.

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