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In September last year, countless Facebook events sprang up reportedly made by 'patriots' who wanted to shoot their guns at Hurricane Irma to scare it away.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The whole thing blew so far out of proportion, with 26,000 people clicking 'attend', and 45,000 clicking 'interested', that the Pasco County Sheriff's Office took to Twitter, urging people not to go out and shoot the storm:

To clarify, DO NOT shoot weapons @ #Irma

You won’t make it turn around & it will have very dangerous side effects

The office even included a diagram that suggested that bullets fired into Irma could end up coming back in the shooter's direction.

Needless to say, the whole thing was a joke, so it's possible that the sheriff's office overreacted, but they couldn't take the chances.

At the time of the prank, one of the organisers, Ryon Edwards, spoke to The Metro, and explained that the whole thing was a joke:

I started it out of boredom and a little anxiety about the storm.

I figured a good laugh at the situation is better than rolling up into a ball and crying about it.

And while the event is very sarcastic in nature, you never know in this state.

It’s unlikely that — considering that aiming in 100+ mph winds would be a serious feat — very few, if any people could pull off. 

Now, with Hurricane Florence nearing a category five strength and moving towards the South East Coast of the United States, people are taking to Facebook again, to set up similar prank events.

One, called Shooting Guns at Hurricane Florence to Scare It Away, hosted by 'Ryan Strumpf', to take place at 1pm on 11 September in Richmond, Virginia, has now had over 20,000 people clicking 'attend', and 50,000 people clicking 'interested'.

In the event's blurb, it says:

Get your guns and your umbrellas.

And your umbrella-guns, and your beer, and your beer-guns, and your tiny umbrellas to keep your beer dry, and join people from all along the East Coast in scaring away Hurricane Florence to protect our country from this foreign invader!

Note: do not actually discharge firearms into the air.

You could kill someone and you cannot frighten a hurricane. I cant believe I actually have to write this.

It waits to be seen whether the sheriff's department will have to intervene again, or whether anyone actually turns up.

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