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While I was wondering out loud what my next blog post could be about, a friend suggested something as a joke. Being who I am, I decided to take it literally.

Just go to a random Wikipedia article and write something about it.

I sort of hoped to get a subject that would be interesting, like some science field I didn’t know anything about, or some political or social debate that I never heard about.

First of all, let me say that there are way too many cities on Wikipedia. I get that it’s supposed to be a universal encyclopedia, and has more information than pretty much any other source in the world, including libraries, and I totally agree with the fact that as long as the information is true, no matter how irrelevant or pointless, it should be allowed on Wikipedia. On the other hand, I had to append a rule to this experiment, which was “no location that is smaller than country”.

I needed 6 clics to get anything else. At this point I was glad to find anything else, but it’s more of a general knowledge than useful knowledge thing.

I landed on Jessie Duff’s page.

Pretty short page, about a person, furthermore it was a person competing in sports, which is definitely not my favorite field. There was not even a picture, so I figured this was not that big of a name either. Still, I wanted to do this properly, so I read the whole thing while mousewheel-clicking every single link that lead to another wikipedia page, to make sure I understood the context.

First of all, I have to say I did not know there were so many different professional shooting sports. I never really took the time to think about it, or I guess it would have been obvious that with so many different types of guns with different magazines, shooting styles, ammo, etc. you had to separate shooters into a ton of categories to make it fair. Still, that was a really interesting read.

Jessie Duff was the first female shooter to achieve the rank of Grand Master in the USPSA, which sounds pretty impressive. On the other hand, she was practicing handgun shooting. Except for very basic physical requirements to use the gun efficiently, the need for muscle mass to operate a handgun is close to none. On that basis alone, I would not segregate that specific sport by gender, so I am both confused as to why the female part is necessary, and why there wasn’t another female Grand Master before her, considering how recently she got the title. If all you need is a steady hand, I would expect some go-getter women to go get all those “first woman X” titles as soon as they were allowed to try during the 20th century, at least for all the sports where men do not have an unfair advantage due to their DNA.

In addition to being the first female Grand Master, she has won more championship titles in shooting (state, regional, national and world) than any other woman. That is a real achievement. Considering how popular shooting sports are, I’m wondering why wikipedia doesn’t have more information on her if she’s the best in the world. That makes me wonder how she compares to male shooters? There was no link, and I had to google that, because I really wanted to know. I couldn’t find some clean cut stats as to the number of men and women in shooting sports, but I found this interesting article.

A quick google search lead me to dozens of pictures of Jessie Duff, so I don’t really understand why the wikipedia page has none. Maybe I’ll add one later, the reason why there isn’t one might be because everyone who could (like me) won’t take the time to add it. I usually at least attempt to not be explicitly the cause to things that annoy me.

Lastly, Jessie seems to be pretty vocal about how shooting sports and hunting is good, and she’s the co-host of a show related to the NRA, so this probably means that she is really passionate about her career.

She got almost all first places during the competitions she attended in 2014, or at least the ones mentioned in her wikipedia page. Maybe that year is the only one there because her results were so great, but either way she’s really a pro.

Keep shooting Jessie!

All this reading got me interested in shooting sports. That’s a whole new perspective compared to last month’s post about gun problems. Sports being dangerous if participants are not careful is nothing new, so I really don’t see a problem with shooting sports, but I bet some people do.

Maybe I’ll tune in next time.

As for the results of my experiment, I can now see more clearly how anyone can be totally passionate about anything. I never really cared about guns or sports, yet reading those huge articles just for context got me really interested in them. Not enough to go try them out myself, but certainly enough to sound sort of passionate next time I explain them to someone. I bet that’s how most people turn into total fanboys over something. Just by reading a lot about it.

I’ll probably try this out again with other random articles every now and then. I probably won’t write about them every single time, so I’d suggest you try it out yourself. It’s fun.