Dad Shoots Laptop, Get This Man a Cigarette and a Scotch!

Kim LaCapria

Yesterday, we posted about the story making parenting headlines consistently across the world, with the headline "dad shoots laptop!"

I consider myself a fairly enlightened parent. We shop at Trader Joe's, we vote democrat, bedtimes are not heavily enforced, and I generally try really hard to say "yes" whenever possible. My kids are not angels, nor have they yet done a stint in juvie- a crack I hope I don't regret one day. But I watched the "dad shoots laptop" clip before I read many of the comments so rife about it across the web, and as a liberal blue-stater, I have to say, what is the big deal here?

If you missed it, a man in a Stetson named Tommy Jordan came across a profanity-laden post from his daughter on Facebook complaining that she was expected to fetch coffee, make her bed and clean the counters. This was on the same day Mr. Jordan spent six hours and $130 installing updates on the girl's laptop, updates for which she was apparently not very grateful. So, when he logged in to Facebook as the family dog and saw the post that was privacy blocked from family and church, he was naturally displeased at his daughter's lack of appreciation. So he shot her laptop, and told her she had to pay for the bullets.

I've seen a lot of hand-wringing about "implicit violence," "public humiliation" and other broad sweeping judgments about how this man must be a control freak and a tyrant because he had the nerve to permanently take away his kid's laptop. But in the (lengthy yet compelling) clip, the father also speaks quietly, without obvious anger and with measured responses. But he used a gun.

So what? This is America, and last time I checked citizens were able to obtain and use guns. He's not brandishing the gun at her. The threat is clearly not "next time I'm going to shoot a person." It's a gun, not a nuclear warhead. When did we get so squeamish? Perhaps in England and France the sight of a gun is a big deal, but guns are a large (and legal) part of American culture.

Which leads me to his daughter's Facebook post. Was anyone else open-mouthed in shock that a teenager expected to get away with such language aimed at her parents? Is it child abuse now to expect a kid to contribute to the running of the household and make a cup of coffee every once in a while? I can tell you if I said those types of things to my parents, I might not be sitting here typing this post today.

So while the methods used by this dad may have been unorthodox, is it so shocking nowadays to expect a modicum of respect while under your parents' roof? To this day, I profusely thank my mother and father when they give me something or do something for me- does anyone else feel like this kid's dad is doing her a favor by enforcing some consequences so when she gets out in the world she realizes that sometimes you've gotta bite your lip and do things you don't want to do with no back talk? Were you horrified by the "dad shoots laptop" clip, or would you buy this man a beer?