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As the modern ancestor of drunken American folk hero Jigger Johnson, Florida Man’s list of accomplishments reads like the strangest police blotter in the history of drunken hijinks: beating up a swan, throwing an alligator through the window of a Wendy’s drive-thru, driving into a house while attempting to time travel, using a mixtape as an official form of identification, and launching an exploratory committee for a presidential run, among others. But one Florida resident's joke response to the imminent arrival of Hurricane Irma may capture America’s id as its finest.
Last week, out of “a combination of stress and boredom,” Florida man Ryon Edwards invited his fellow Sunshine Staters to literally “shoot at Hurricane Irma” on Sept. 10 in a goofy Facebook event invite: “YO SO THIS GOOFY LOOKING WINDY HEADASS NAMED IRMA SAID THEY PULLING UP ON US, LETS SHOW IRMA THAT WE SHOOT FIRST.”
It’s a great joke, even if “stand your ground” is no longer legal dogma in Florida, but when more than 54,000 signed up to attend the statewide shootout, local law enforcement literally had to remind Florida residents to please, for the love of God, don’t discharge your firearms in the direction of Hurricane Irma.
To his credit, Edwards told the Associated Press on Sept. 10 that his call to arms was clearly intended as a joke that “may have gone over many people’s heads,” adding that “I’ve got people in my inbox mad as hell because they think this is actually happening. I don’t know whether to laugh or sigh.”
To be fair, falling bullets are no joke. Out of the 284 stray-bullet shootings analyzed by University of California researchers in a 2012 study, some 5% were the result of falling shells from “celebratory gunfire” — less than other bystander gunfire incidents, but still significant given that those 284 incidents resulted in 317 deaths or injuries.
According to The Trace, this problem is particularly salient in a state like Florida, where city officials frequently beg residents to avoid celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July.
"I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself,” Edwards told BBC. “It has become something a little out of my control."
As of Sept. 10, Edwards had updated his event with a reminder to "attendees" with a more serious call to action in the face of Hurricane Irma. "Make sure to help each other out during and after the storm in whatever way you can," he wrote. "While the news will make countless stories about us "encouraging" people to shoot the hurricane, there will be far less coverage on how Floridians always have each other's backs in times of need."
Okay, so Facebook isn’t actually a call to unleash a hail of lead at your local storm system, but it is chock full of great memes! The only one that’s missing — this gem from 1996’s Independence Day:
Photo via 20th Century Fox
At least 4 American veterans among group arrested in Haiti with arsenal of weapons and tactical gear
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if the employee behind a firearm company's Facebook page decided to goaded a bunch of Marines into destroying their brand new firearms? Now you know.
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."
If you are in the market for any size of military surplus vehicle, keep an eye on GovPlanet. The online auction house is about to start selling U.S. Navy and Marine Corps surplus M1161 ITV Growlers and seven-ton Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks.
Vandals tried to burn a statue of a Confederate general. They got the founder of the US Army Airborne instead
A marble statue memorializing the founder of the U.S. Army Airborne was set on fire Thursday in North Carolina, and museum officials believe it happened because vandals confused it for a Confederate memorial, according to the Dunn Daily Record and other media outlets.