A Spatial Analysis Of Public Attitudes Toward Hunting And Firearm Usage In Middle Tennessee

It has generally been accepted that the public attitude toward ownership and usage of firearms has undergone considerable change as the American population has become more urbanized. This study examines the attitudes of Middle Tennesseans toward hunting and the use and control of firearms (nonpistol) by individ uals. An areal analysis was conducted to determine differences of opinion within the population according to the type of residence - rural, town or city. A random sample was conducted during October 1971 by personal questionnaire in a city of approximately 450,000, a town of 17,000, and from rural dwellers of Middle Tennessee. The sample was confined to adult males because of the traditional masculine nature of hunting and the use of guns. The total sample consisted of 270 individuals; 5S from rural, areas, 72 from small towns and 143 from the city. In an analysis of Table I, differences between the three groups become readily apparent. The number of adult males who consider themselves hunters changes from 70% for the rural man to 44% for those living in small towns to 30% for the city resident. The greater opportunity offered the non-urban person probably accounts for this difference, but the fact that competitive recreational pursuits are fewer in the country might also be a contributing factor. The differences in opinion either favoring or opposing all hunting is relatively consistent throughout the region. Nearly 90% of rural dwellers favored hunting while 71% of both town and city persons felt likewise.

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