As Hurricane Irma makes its way through Florida, residents are being reminded to board up their homes, stay inside and…not shoot at the storm?
On Sunday, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office decided to warn gun owners that firing their weapons at Irma is not going to make the storm go away.
“To clarify, DO NOT shoot weapons @ #Irma. You won’t make it turn around & it will have very dangerous side effects,” the office tweeted.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) also felt the need to tell residents what a bad idea this would be: “Unfortunately we must issue the following warning DO NOT SHOOT YOUR GUNS AT THE HURRICANE!!!”
Even the Newtown Action Alliance weighed in: “We strongly encourage gun owners to NOT shoot their guns at #Irma out of frustration. Evacuate or seek shelter.”
Now, this all seems like common sense, so what promoted these rather odd advisories?
Well, one Facebook user thought it would be fun to create a Facebook event inviting Florida residents to shoot their guns at Irma. The page – which was clearly meant as a joke – quickly went viral.
“YO SO THIS GOOFY LOOKING WINDY HEADA** NAMED IRMA SAID THEY PULLING UP ON US, LETS SHOW IRMA THAT WE SHOOT FIRST,” the event description reads.
Ryon Edwards, the creator of the page tells BBC that he did so out of “stress and boredom.” He was just looking to “lighten the mood.”
But not everyone picked up on the sarcasm.
“The response is a complete and total surprise to me,” he says.
Over 30,000 people said they would attend the event and more than 56,000 said they were interested in going.
“I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself. It has become something a little out of my control,” he adds.
Thankfully, it doesn’t look like anyone took Edwards’ joke seriously; there have been no reports of Floridians unloading their guns on Irma…yet.