Trigger-happy. German shooting practices between pleasure and fear

"Trigger-happy": this is how the German youth was regularly portrayed in the German media in the early twentieth century. These descriptions are remarkable if one considers that German fathers and teachers as well as politicians and officers promoted the young Germans’ fondness of shooting to the maximum. The project asks when and why "trigger-happy" turned into gun rampage by examining private shooting practices in Germany from the 1880s to the 1930s. Particular emphasis will be placed on the feelings associated with these practices concerning the actors involved as well as in the public opinion and professional experts.

The feelings described as desirable and useful in the context of shooting practices as well as those identified as problematic are all analyzed in a comparative perspective focusing on structures from the Empire era through to the Weimar Republic and National Socialism. Did the new kind of violence introduced with World War I fundamentally change the emotional mapping of individual shooting practices? How were emotions related to private shooting practices linked with political structures and systems?