As people brace for Hurricane Irma’s impact on Florida, some Americans are coming up with unusual ways to show their defiance.
A Facebook group has proposed an idea to stop the catastrophic storm in its tracks: Pull out a gun, and shoot at it.
More than 20,000 people have RSVP’d for the “Shoot at Hurricane Irma” Facebook event, scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. ET Sunday. Another 53,000 showed at least some interest in the bizarre idea as of Sunday morning.
“LETS SHOW IRMA THAT WE SHOOT FIRST,” reads the event description.
But police in Florida have a different idea: Don’t.
The post prompted the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to issue a reminder to “not shoot weapons” at Hurricane Irma.
— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) September 10, 2017
Graphics suggesting how to shoot at a hurricane have sprung up online, with the suggestion that if you fire correctly the bullet might not come back and kill you. But how about you don’t test that out…
22-year old Ryon Edwards, who created the event, told Newsbeat that the idea was inspired by a “combination of stress and boredom,” and was intended as a way to “lighten the mood” as the storm approached.
However, Edwards said he was surprised by the enormous interest in the event.
“I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself,” Edwards said. “It has become something a little out of my control.”
The comments on Ryon’s post suggest not everyone is really going to load up on Sunday morning in the Florida Keys.
“Isn’t this just going to make the weather madder?” asks one.
“Are liberals allowed to throw pillows? (asking for a friend)” says another.
Ideas for repelling Hurricane Irma don’t stop with bullets. Another Facebook event, titled “Flame Throwing Hurricane Irma,” has also popped up, along with “Spinning your arms really fast to push away Hurricane Irma” and “Talking reasonably to Hurricane Irma to convince her to stop this cycle.”
Although the flamethrowing idea hadn’t drawn much interest as of Sunday morning, the idea of spinning your arms seemed to resonate with people: Some 12,000 people have RSVP’d for the event, and another 39,000 were interested in spinning their arms between 6 pm ET Friday and 9 pm ET Wednesday (Sept. 9-13). “Talking Reasonably” to the hurricane has also peaked the attention of many people, with 10,000 saying they’re “going” and “40,000 “interested” at 11am ET on Monday morning.
“Let’s show Hurricane Irma that her ideology of violence and destruction are not welcome in Gainesville,” the latter event’s description reads.
The reality of it is these are just jokes, and it’s human nature for people to try to lighten up the mood during troubling times. I mean, these are hilarious, but let’s just hope no one takes them seriously…
Nearly 7 million people were asked to evacuate ahead of Irma’s landfall, which is expected to hit today. The Category 4 storm has reached the Florida Keys and is battering the islands with strong winds and storm surge as it makes its way towards mainland Florida.