500k join campaign to "shoot down" Hurricane Irma
TENS of thousands of gun-toting Americans have joined a Facebook campaign to shoot down Hurricane Irma when it hits Florida.
They've vowed to tackle the 185mp/h (297km/h) hurricane by showing deadly Irma that "in Florida we shoot first", The Sun reports.
Ryon Edwards, 22, came up with the novel idea of shooting at the storm as a way of amusing himself during the chaos.
He started a Facebook "event", and as of today more than 50,000 people say they are interested.
Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history, has already wrought destruction in the Caribbean, killing at least 25 people.
Ryon said he hadn't expected to generate such a large response - and he didn't expect anybody to take the plan that seriously.
"A combination of stress and boredom made me start the event. The response is a complete and total surprise to me," the 22-year-old told BBC Newsbeat.
"I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself.
"It has become something a little out of my control."
Some people appear to have taken the plan seriously, including one Facebook user who posted an image of himself holding a gun, along with the message: "I'm not going to sit around and wait, I'm going straight into the eye."
Others responded to it with scepticism, with one user writing: "Isn't this just going to make the weather madder?"
The response has even prompted the Pasco Sheriff's Office to warn residents not to take up arms against a hurricane.
"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 post comes as another Florida resident made an event encouraging people to "shoot flames" at the storm.
"It's time we took a stand against this big bully! This our home nobody drives us out of our own territory," states the event description.
"Join me in this fight as we shoot flames at Hurricane Irma and dissipate her on the spot. She will burn."
This article was originally published by The Sun and appears here with permission.