Dad Shoots Laptop

Here’s a guy who apparently never learned how to instill discipline in his daughter with love. He cannot reason with her or teach her healthy negotiation skills. He takes the natural process of teenage rebellion extremely personally. He cannot allow her the privacy to develop a self distinct from him. He cannot harness the 20 years or so more wisdom he should have on her to defuse her emotional outbursts in a way that turns them into constructive interactions. He can neither model adult behavior for her, nor train it into her. He cannot handle his daughter daring to mouth off about him to her friends on Facebook without feeling so embarrassed that he has to seek not only to publicly humiliate her, but to do so with a gun—fired with cathartic relish and sarcastic jokes at something she cares about and something which to him must be an avatar of her.

I admit, I’m not a psychologist. So correct me if I’m wrong and I’ll amend this post. But is it possible to destroy someone’s stuff so violently without simultaneously venting (or at least indirectly conveying) a desire to destroy that person? I’m not saying he would actually do it, but isn’t he, with full premeditation, deliberately displacing his rage towards his daughter in a way aimed at making her feel his violent feelings towards her? I guess if he doesn’t actually assault her physically (yet) that counts as a meager point for “progress”. (Like how we’ve learned it isn’t torture if there is no long term physical damage.)

This is just a symptom of the sickness of America’s self-righteous, gun-fetishizing, “throw away the key”, “blame the poor”, “torture the suspect”, “beat the spoiled children” authoritarianism. To so much of the American psyche, reason and love are not solutions. The only solutions are “last resort” bullying crackdowns of dominance and humiliation.

This man is not alone. This video got 100,327 likes and only 7,437 dislikes on YouTube because today’s pampered spoiled kids need to learn “disc’pline” and to treat their hard working parents with some respect like in “the old days”. The good taxpayers and citizens and parents of middle America have been too just too indulgent with so many ungrateful leeches and parasites. Some day it’s time to slam the prison bars shut more mercilessly, shock and awe the enemy more ruthlessly, and employ your guns more domestically.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • barbrykost

    I don’t think shooting the laptop was a substitute for violence against his daughter. He was demonstrating the she owns nothing without his permission, and he can take it all away from her at any time.
    This also made me think of Libby Anne’s essays on discipline parenting. The issue is not what she learns about becoming a responsible, fulfilled adult, but that his supremacy as father be acknowledged and his person respected.
    The “likes” were probably mostly from rednecks who just like seeing things get blown up.

    • julian

      The “likes” were probably mostly from rednecks who just like seeing things get blown up

      You greatly underestimate how many different flavors repulsive assholes come in. Sitting next to two right now who think that’s the most awesome thing ever and think that guy ought to get an award.

    • annie

      Excuse me but not everyone who believes children should be punished are rednecks. This could be why your children are sleeping around getting pregnant, doing drugs and drinking. Bad behavior should be punished, he told us that she was grounded before and didn’t learn her lesson. Parents should have supremacy over children. Are you insane? To take away a material item that she DID NOT EARN..that HE gave to her is wrong? Absolutely not! He gave it to her and she used it as a weapon to disrespect and slant him. Now I wouldn’t have shot a gun, one because I don’t have one and two because I would have given it away to charity or a family friend. And to talk about her parents and a lady that helps out in her house that way is absolutely disrespectful and for those of you who don’t agree or thinking just talking to a thick headed teen is the way to go you are wrong and maybe you should see how your children behave during the school day or when you aren’t looking. Maybe the disrespectful, stuck up attitude of teenagers is because parents have stopped punishing and try to treat their children as if they are adults. They are children. He didn’t hurt her. Maybe you should check your parenting style. I was a teen just a few years ago, I know what works and what doesn’t. Teens are stubborn, they are sneaky. Parents these days want to be friends not parents to their kids. THIS is the problem with America. THIS is why people look down on us as a whole. Shows like Teen Mom that glamorize and glorify children who decided to whore around. Love SHOULD be unconditional, but love is teaching not rewarding for bad behavior or accepting said behavior.

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I am adding these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers.

    • Melisa

      You are correct. It’s to teach her that she owns nothing. That to own something in this world you must be willing to work hard for it. That respect to those who supply you with the necessities and luxuries of life is required. He did nothing materially to hurt her and he didn’t seem to be planning on taking away the necessities, he took away the luxuries that he was no longer willing to provide her without at least the minimum payment of respect. He owned the property he got to set the price, she didn’t pay the price, he didn’t supply the property. This is a basic tenet of life and something that she obviously needed to learn on a visceral level.

      This idea that children shouldn’t suffer any emotional upset at all is so wrong. It makes me think of taking a child to the doctor to get a shot. You know it’s going to hurt, they know it’s going to hurt but you have to just buck up and deal with the pain. It’s the same with emotional pain. The child does not expire from the shot, and won’t from the “humiliation” of this video or the lesson that if you don’t “work” you don’t “get.”

      Was it ok to shoot the laptop? Probably not my choice, I’m too aware of how much things cost and how much a used laptop could get on the open market. My husband was a fan of donating it to a school, etc. But is my choice of what to do with my possessions better than his, they are for me, but I’m comfortable allowing the man who worked for the laptop and owned it, to do whatever he wants with it.

    • julian

      *points to Melisa*

      See what I mean? Never underestimate how much self righteousness these assholes will wrap themselves in. They genuinely have next to no compassion for others and insist everything and everyone fall in line behind them. When those naturally under them (their children) exhibit any sign of independence or discontent with ‘the way things are’ they lash out with violence and aggression eager to hurt them (emotionally, physically or with threats) in order to bring their behavior in line.

    • Thomas

      He used no violence against his daughter, are you an idiot? He took what was his and destroyed it. She is a child. As an adult she can and will make her own decisions. But as a child she should be taught how to be. Your child if you aren’t one yourself, will be whoring around behind your back and you will be thinking damn I am one good parent for letting her do it because I am “supportive” Why don’t you be supportive in the first place and teach your kids right from wrong! Children shouldn’t have private access to the internet anyway..that’s how child molesters and creeps talk to them. You think because you want to treat your kid like their adults they will behave like adults. in reality a child will be a child. They will always make mistakes. How you deal with the mistakes shape them.. by not punishing properly you are accepting that. I wouldn’t have used a gun but it was not earned by her therefore whats the problem? Are you just that rebellious or anarchist that you think the world should be run by a bunch of immoral disrespectful people? oh wait, it already is.

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I am adding these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers.

    • julian


      News flash, teenagers have sex. It’s a healthy part of growing up. You learn about yourself, your body, your sexuality and what you’re comfortable with.

      If my wife and I decide to have kids (she wants a girl and a boy but finances and such have made it iffy at the moment), I intend to provide her with birth control and any information she may need to make an informed decision as to when to have sex or if to have sex. Ditto for any sons I might have (doubly so for them, as there’s to much emphasis on boys losing their virginity and sleeping with lots of women)

      I do not intend to wave my Beretta around and point it threateningly at their (yes, their) belongings. I do not intend to break their things. I hope if I do they have the strength to tell their dad he’s a worthless fuck and move on with their lives.

    • T.O.M.

      Wow, this Melisa person sounds exactly like my violent, misogynistic, raping and abusing father, it’s uncanny and unsettling.

      “The shit you shit isn’t yours, dad pays sewertaxes for that shit.”

      What a good idea to make a child feel wortless by telling them they are worthless. /sarcasm

    • Thomas

      If a child is only as worthy as the material items they have than THAT is where the problem lies. Just because your father was an asshole doesn’t mean every loving caring father who chooses not violent punishment is one. He didn’t hurt her, he took what he bought her. I could see if she bought it..but she used what he gave her as a weapon against him.

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I am adding these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers.

    • annie

      Absolutely. Like you said he did not harm to her. I can understand some parents being uncomfortable with physical punishment, but any punishment, really? Why not just let your kids run around in the street and give them a reward for it.

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I am adding these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers.

  • Spencer

    A teenager complaining about your parents in what was supposed to be private post? Clearly the only rational response is to destroy the expensive piece of technology she posted it on with a gun. I’m sure this genius act of tough ‘love’ will shape into into the woman of God she was called to be.

    I especially liked what he posted on Facebook: “Today was probably the most disappointing day of my life as a father and I don’t know how to correct the situation.”
    Yeah, because you’re a fucking dumbass whose first instinct in a situation like this to to shoot shit up. This is why I think we should require a license to parent.

    • Dave

      To start with I neither condone nor condemn his use of a gun. In many societies guns are as ‘normal’ as a pen (or a penknife!)and it looks to me as though they live on a farm/ranch type environment where it would be the norm. There is one thing I must correct you on though. There is no way a young teen should be allowed ANY private access to the web! THAT would be ‘bad parenting’ Talk to any child abuse officer and they will tell you the same thing “KNOW WHO YOUR CHILDREN ARE TALKING TO AND WHAT THEY ARE SAYING” This girl seriously abused the trust placed on her, it is NOT ‘normal rebellion’ Millions of children do not rebel against their parents or peers. To do so is not ‘normal’ but wrong! We are not allowed guns in the UK so I would have put a hammer through it but that is NOT “with a desire to destroy that person” (What sort of person would think that anyhow?)

    • Ibis3, denizen of a spiteful ghetto

      I have no words to describe how much I detest what you seem to be standing for. This authoritarian father crap is what landed three young sisters at the bottom of the locks in Kingston. Fuck. Just fuck.

    • Ace of Sevens

      A fifteen-year-old is hardly so young that it’s dangerous to let her talk to strangers from her house. Are you seriously saying high schoolers need to have their every action with the outside world go through their parents?

    • Elly

      …as I have already said NO young teen should be allowed private access to the web. A parent or peer should know everyone they talk to and what they are saying at all times.

      I disagree with this 100%. A “young teen” is an incipent adult, and – as they mature – it’s incumbent on a parent to step back and allow them to make more of their own decisions. In addition, they have a right to some privacy in their lives – always hovering over their shoulders in an effort to control what they say is a sure-fire way to breed resentment.

      There’s a biiiig difference between being authoritative and authoritarian. I may not have succeeded 100% of the time, but I have always tried to end up on former side vs. the latter. Certainly I can’t complain about the results: my kids are now 19 and 22, respectively. They’re bright, thoughtful, responsible, articulate and creative young adults who are on excellent terms with us.

      I never played “thought police” with my kids. If they felt it, they were free to say it – and if I didn’t agree, we’d discuss it (either immediately, or – if tempers were high – later on when everyone was calmer). Interestingly enough, although I never placed any restrictions on their use of social media, neither one has much interest in it. My daughter uses Facebook sporadically, and my son, never.

      This is not to say that they’ve never posted “rants” online. In fact, I’m quite proud of this one from my daughter: – it was a righteous rant about the utter uselessness of her high school “navigation” classes. You may not like some of the language she uses, but if that ain’t an acute set of observations from a student who actually cares about her education, then you can kiss my grits.

      Bottom line: if you treat your kids like people inherently worthy of respect and keep the lines of communication open, they won’t disappoint you.

    • Moshia

      Wow, Spencer, clearly you don’t have proper parenting skills to backup yourself. If you did you’d realize he didn’t hurt her. He took what he bought her. She earned nothing and she was disrespectful. Children SHOULD not have privacy on the internet. The mindset that parents should let their kids be or “just talk it out” is what is screwing this country up. Yes, talking is important but if a man cannot take away what HE paid for with his hard earned money, what punishment are you thinking would be appropriate? None? Again..he didn’t harm her. Get over it. You think talking to your kids will get them to behave or tell you whats going on? Maybe sometimes, but not always, maybe try being parents not friends. That comes when they grow up..Sounds like you need to grow a little more mentally before you become a parent..and if you are a parent..God help your kids..

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I am adding these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers.

  • Andrew

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only person who though this man was psychotic. The “Back in my day” argument is total crap. Teens go through a rebellious phase, it’s part of growing up. This man appears to be angry that he didn’t get a chance to rebel when he was a teen, so he’s taking it out on his daughter. The idea of a little Facebook humiliation might have been funny and appropriate (in a light-hearted lesson about how things on the internet aren’t really private), but this guy took it too far.

    • Dave

      Rubbish, millions of teens do not “go through a rebellious phase” and grow up to be upstanding members of their community. “This man appears to be angry that he didn’t get a chance to rebel when he was a teen” You’re guessing and have no idea of his childhood but as I have already said NO young teen should be allowed private access to the web. A parent or peer should know everyone they talk to and what they are saying at all times.

    • Brea Plum

      Bullshit. The girl said nothing on Facebook she wouldn’t otherwise have said at the table during lunch hour at school, walking with her friends at the mall, or any of the thousand other places teens gather together to whinge about their parents as all of did and all of our parents did before us. Yes, all teens go through a rebellious phase and if they don’t, then something is seriously skewed in the upbringing because that rebellion is a necessary step to becoming and individual and an adult.

      Teens should be allowed the same private access to the web that they have (and we had) to newspapers, bookstores, libraries and interaction with other members of the human species. Ah, forgot that the world isn’t so different than it was for us 30 years ago after all, didn’t you? The play is the same, it’s only the stage props that change.

      And yes, the father is borderline psychotic (and what the hell is wrong with her mother, for not only condoning but supporting his behavior?) but more likely never progressed much beyond a 15 year old mentality himself. Tell me Bubba, is your daughter doing drugs? Drinking? Pregnant? Regularly treated for STDs? Stealing? Fighting? Flunking out of school? No?

      Then suck it up, buttercup, it’s called “parenting a teenager” and just like the sleepless nights of infancy and the muleheadedness of toddlerhead, you knew it was coming.

    • Anat

      There’s a limit to how much parents *can* control what their adolescent children say or do. And adolescents need to transition gradually to adulthood, switching all of a sudden from being totally under a parent’s thumb to an adult with full privileges and responsibilities is not a good idea.

      I grew up well before computers and the internet and my parents only knew whom I talked to or whom I hanged out with before they came home if I wanted them to know. Similarly I do not imagine I know all about my daughter’s interactions. She sometimes tells me stuff. I take an interest. I try to discuss things in her life, or things that I come across which may be related to things in her life. I can only hope that if anything really bothered her she’d tell me. But there are things I never told my parents and I doubt they ever suspected. I’m sure that by the time my daughter is 18 she’d have a few secrets of her own, not all of them nice ones. I worry, I try to give her mental tools to deal with assorted situations – but in the end, it is her life.

    • Grimalkin

      Two things.

      First off, 15 is hardly a young teen. Well over the 13 years needed to legally have a facebook without your parents’ permission, anyways.

      Second, 16 year old here. I have private access to the internet, and I must say that it bothers me that you would take issue with that. My parents monitoring the websites I go on would be very detrimental to my well being.

      And I’m sure that puts you in a tizzy to think that I have things that I want to keep from my parents. For the record, there are benefits to private access to the internet beyond “makes the internet a playground for pedophiles and teenagers that want to insult their authoritarian parents”.

      Like the ability to go on sites like FreethoughtBlogs without hearing about how satanic they are, or sites like Queereka without outing myself, or blogs like Natalie Reed’s and Greta Christina’s without hearing about how creepy those two are for being transsexual and sex-positive, respectively. Earlier today I did a few Google searches for information on FTM crossdressing due to a bout of gender dysphoria, which, if my internet was monitored, would have probably lead to a fight about how fucked up and non-normative I am. Hell, on top of all of that, I sure as hell wouldn’t be writing this comment right now, nor would I have my own blog (or at least, one that mentions me being gay and an Atheist).

      Sorry, but the idea that there’s something wrong with me having private internet access quite frankly pisses me off.

      Seriously. Educating your kids enough so that they don’t do stupid things on the internet is good, but trying to strip them of their privacy (and shooting their laptop when you fail at that) is ignorant.

    • Veronica

      Correction, not every teen goes through it..however most do..and when they do, do you just let them? HELL NO. You teach them how to be better. If they misbehave, you punish. He didn’t hurt her. He was calm when he did it.. he taught her a lesson that just grounding didn’t teach before..before you say just talking to your kids works..go to their school and watch their behavior.. I guarantee you have NO idea how bad it can be. Perhaps your child is a bully, is talking shit about you or accusing you of being abusive behind your back..until you have THAT to deal with, I suggest you don’t criticize a man for shooting a laptop.. He didn’t hurt anyone..he took what HE bought. She didn’t buy it with her own fcking money. Chill the hell out man..Freaking idiot.

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I am adding these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers.

  • John Morales

    Better a laptop than a puppy.

    (Same sickness, though)

    • Tilly

      you’re freaking crazy!? A puppy is living, a laptop is material..Are you that materialistic that you believe that destroying something material is abusive? What about kids who don’t have it because they’re parents are poor? Are they abusive for not giving them extras? Absolutely not. I think it is insane that so many people believe it is wrong to punish kids. This could be why kids are so disrespectful. I hear kids say shut up to there parents all the time and the parents just take it…why? Because parents want to be buddy buddy with kids..not mommy and daddy. he didn’t hurt the stupid girl. She was a brat who used a gift as a weapon against her parents who only asked her to to chores and get a job if she wants extras..get over it people..when are you going to start treating children like children??

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I am adding these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers.

  • Pierson

    I don’t know. I mean, I know that the father’s methods were a little extreme, but what can you do when you just can’t reason with the other party? Though I believe in talk and understanding, I think it’s important to show your children what people in the real world are truly capable of, provided push comes to shove. After all, even if her dad was willing to reason with her and talk, what about someone else? Do you really think she’d get off so easily if she threw the same type of tantrum with someone who could legally push back, like a Cop, or a genuinley frieghtened person?

    • Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

      I hope you do not have children. Ever.

    • Pierson

      Well, while we do vastly differ in our hopes, I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t address my question. Perhaps in the the future, it would benefit you to be more constructive in your responses…

    • michaeld

      Ok I’ll take a crack at this.

      “I don’t know. I mean, I know that the father’s methods were a little extreme, but what can you do when you just can’t reason with the other party?”

      I’m honestly not sure that he did try to reason with her or have a dialogue. Even in his reply he specifically glossed over her issues with making coffee and gardening for example. On those points I got sincere impression that she was feeling unappreciated for her work and a serious dialogue about these things would probably be productive. Having an honest conversation about her views and his and trying to work things out with words is pretty much how adults are supposed to handle things. If she’s really out there take the laptop away for a while or such but I don’t think breaking it sends any sort of positive or moral message.

      “Though I believe in talk and understanding, I think it’s important to show your children what people in the real world are truly capable of, provided push comes to shove.”

      The real world is also capable of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse but I don’t (and you probably don’t)think that those are things one should expose their children to. You know push comes to shove and that noisy bitch wouldn’t shut up about having to do all the dishes so I just slapped her across her face. Does that sound acceptable? No… while something that can very well happen in real life its not acceptable and its not something you would inflict apon your child. Same goes for property damage cause you don’t like what someone said about you. He’s an adult he should act like it and set an example if nothing else.

      “After all, even if her dad was willing to reason with her and talk, what about someone else? Do you really think she’d get off so easily if she threw the same type of tantrum with someone who could legally push back, like a Cop, or a genuinley frieghtened person?”

      See above I don’t think her dad was seriously willing to reason with her or seriously discuss her feelings or concerns.

      Fun fact throwing a tantrum and having negative feelings about someone or something is not illegal. So if I write on my facebook page about how a cop treated me I should be worried about him coming over and smashing my stuff? If I’m on the street and call a cop a fascist pig I’d be very surprised if they could take my phone and smash it and get away with it on video.

      Same thing goes for some other person on the street. If I get into an argument with you and you start breaking my stuff guess what I’m going to hold you accountable for that. We live in a society where we have decided that you know what its just not acceptable to break other peoples things even if they something not very nice about you.

      The only reason her dad is going to get away with this is cause we allow parents to be lords over their kids and treat them like property. She doesn’t really get any say because she’s 15 can’t get a job and move out and her age so she’s pretty much stuck at this guy’s whim.

      Lets try something for a second here lets change father with room mate. Ok room mate is paying the bills and has given her a laptop for some occasion. She writes a negative facebook post about the chores she’s doing around the house. He responds by shooting the laptop he gave her video taping it and posting it on youtube.

      Does that sound like something you can defend? When the dad does it he’s trying to deal with a rebellious daughter and instill morals and a good work ethic into her. When the roommate does it he’s…. well frankly just being a prick.

    • Pierson

      Hmm, well, I guess I can see where you’re coming from. I mean, I grew up in an extremley authoritarian household and I’m no stranger to corporal punishment, so I guess this does seem pretty normal to me. Nevertheless however, I guess you’re saying the Father did what he did not out of a sense of discipline(he could have just taken it away), but as a a way of taking revenge, and even I can agree that behavior condoning or encouraging revenge andor spite is not something you’d want to pass along to someone so impressionable. Overall, though I could really see that the Father was really hurt and humiliated by his child, he shouldn’t have gone the way of petty revenge. Thank you for the explantion…

    • michaeld

      You’re welcome. I’m glad I could at least explain where I and some of the other people here are coming from. For my own biases my parent’s weren’t terribly authoritarian and for the most part my brother and me didn’t behave too badly for our part in things.

    • Pierre

      parents should be parents and kids should be kids. You cannot talk to a kid like they are adults.. they do not have the mental capability at this age..hence the arguing..therefore punishment is needed..he didn’t hurt her..He took away a material item…God, this country is so low to think that a laptop being destroyed is the end of this world. I agree that I wouldn’t shoot a laptop Id hold it somewhere or give it away, but I don’t think he was wrong for doing it..he hurt no one.

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I am adding these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers.

  • Brother Yam

    Somebody is gonna grow up with daddy issues…

    • Pierre

      over a laptop? What do you do with a bratty teen? Reward them? No wonder Americans grow up so rude. teenagers should be punished for bad behavior. He caused her no harm..It was just a laptop. Nothing hurt her. She was rude and disrespectful. The end. Teach your kids..friendship comes later..I have an amazing friendship with my parents now that I am older.

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I am adding these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers.

  • Ace of Sevens

    His daughter may be a whiny ingrate (hard to tell based on this), but what’s the lesson here? Do as you are told and never question authority? He talks a big game about being a self-made man. I’m guessing he didn’t get that way by giving in to pressure and never pushing back when he disagreed with someone.

    • Ariel

      So what do you suggest? Reward her? He didn’;t hurt her..She was wrong so she should be punished. What do you think proper punishment would be? A nice talk and a cup of hot cocoa? Give me a break..when kids are misbehaving they need a punishment.. I don’t believe in hitting a kid, however to take a way what they did not earn is not wrong. Stop being so anarchist.

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I am adding these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers.

  • Bret

    Where did this come from? My site’s #1 fan had facebook messaged me to see what I thought of this video… is this making the rounds online or something?

    Hope you don’t feel like I’m ripping you off when I sit down to right up my opinion on this later tonight.

    • Bret

      Damnit, as I hit send I saw “right” instead of “write”… and my skin curled.

    • Daniel Fincke

      Not at all ripping me off, apparently it’s the number 1 search on yahoo. One of my former students tipped me off to it because he wanted my opinion, as the thing was massively viral.

    • Bret

      Isn’t it odd everyone wants to know what people think of it? Are people unsure of how to feel?

      All I can say is: now we know where she got her penchant for over-reacting online.

    • Ariana

      I think it is less that people don’t know what to think and more people thinking what the hell is wrong with parents who believe kids should get away with behavior like this. How could anyone say he was wrong? He hurt no one. He took what HE bought. She didn’t pay for it. Sounds like she doesn’t do her share at the house even and she has no respect for adults. I am from Spain originally and I can tell you even there the differences in parenting are obvious. You can see the kids who have consequences to actions are better behaved..(mostly) and the kids whose parents say lets just talk, just do whatever they want and having babies when they’re 15 and so on. It is ridiculous that parents are wanting to be friends so much that they forget how to be parents. Yes, it’s the year 2012, but does that mean that we should be forgetting how to raise kids to being good civilized people? I am 36 and have seen it first hand with friends of mine who cannot punish for fear of losing love of kids. They will love you anyway, you must do what is best. If they were adults they wouldnt need you to make decisions for them. But alas they are children. Apologies if I cannot type properly. It is afterall my third language.

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I am adding these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers.

  • Jeff Sherry

    It is obvious he was barely containing himself, a law and order type. “We have heah, a failure to communicate.”

  • michaeld

    Somehow I thought it was illegal to go around breaking other peoples stuff….

    • silly Rabbit

      It was his computer, silly boy

    • echidna

      I’m not sure even Judge Judy would agree that he had the right to destroy her computer.

    • michaeld

      He repeatedly refers to it as “your laptop”.

      If I give you a laptop it becomes yours. It does not magically remain mine cause I paid for it. I can’t give you a camera then decide 3 days later I want it back or I can break it.

      I realize children are little more then chattle under the law but this doesn’t really seem like the way to raise someone to be moral or have a sense of responsibility. It quite frankly seems like bullying and burning bridges. Admittedly I don’t know the situation but you could probably get farther in an actual honest to FSM conversation with the girl about her feeling and your thoughts on this then by just breaking her stuff.

      Quite frankly respect is earned and I see no reason to respect a bully. It is interesting to see that people flock to this guys side over teens not respecting their parents but are against christian parents make their kids lives a mess if they find out they are atheists. Bad parenting is bad parenting. Also I personally find these authoritarian apologists as annoying as the recent amazing atheist apologists. Anyway I’m about ranted out and I don’t want to fall into ad hominems so I’ll just cut it off here.

    • teh_faust

      Well, the authoritarian’s “brat” is just like the sexist’s “slut”. And they tend to walk hand in hand.

    • Ariana

      Michaeld..are you a child? If so you probably shouldn’t be giving parenting advice..bye bye. :) Also yes, it is illegal..however it was HIS. HE paid for it for her. She was disrespectful. Why should you reward a naughty kid? You shouldn’t. Love? Yes, punish? yes. End of story. he didnt hurt her.

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I am adding these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers.

    • michaeld

      Genius child with a nice BSc in biochemistry. But you are right I havn’t fathered any children of my own…. but my GF does have an child from a previous relationship. Does that count? Isn’t this really just a nice way to ignore what I say by mocking my age or parenting status?

      And again fun fact once you give something to someone its not yours anymore by definitions. No take backs! It is somewhat disturbing that you think you can get petty revenge on someone and its ok as long as you don’t hurt them. “I’ll show you not to cut me off I’ll track you down and key your car! That’s the right response!” snark…

      Finally… bwahahahahahhahah dishonest little sock puppet can’t even be truthful about who you are have to play little games. Once again morally questionable behavior from the most sanctimonious sources about whats right. The more people boast about morality and doing whats right the more likely they are to be a slimy little troll.

  • Marshall

    You know, it’s really strange. When I first saw this I felt kind of torn; on one level something just seemed OFF about this whole video, but on another level it all seemed so NORMAL (I know that sounds weird, but just bear with me). I couldn’t really work out what it was until I read your post and watched it again.

    This is, in many ways, the sort of authoritarian parenting I grew up with. I’d like to think that I’ve broken away from that. What I realize now is that I’ve somehow internalized a lot of the way I was raised and compartmentalized it to a such a degree that I don’t even realize it’s there sometimes. That scares me. I don’t have kids, but it isn’t exactly out of the question in the future, and I wouldn’t want to be that kind of parent. I have to wonder what other leftover elements of my upbringing I might have done this with. I mean, now that it’s been pointed out, I realize exactly why something seemed off and why this guy irked me so much. But I also realize that it took someone else pointing it out for me to even recognize it.

    I don’t know. I’m always trying to be a better person than I was the day before, but I guess there are always going to be things that I entirely overlook and fail to correct about my character and behavior. True of all of us, I suppose, but it’s strange what kind of things force you to look more critically at yourself.

    • Jennica

      Are you really that materialistic that a destroyed laptop sets you off? He paid for it. She misbehaved. So he took it. he didn’t beat that crap out of her.. Parents should tell their kids what to do till they grow up. As adults, that is their time to decide what tehy should do. Parents and friends should be seperate until they get older. She was rude and used a gift he bought he as a weapon. Should children raise themselves? If so, let them free in the woods to be feral children..see how that works..No wonder shows like teen mom are accepted as the glamorized state of teen pregnancy. England has problems like this as well, however, it seems the more Americans I meet, the more I realize, you guys are out of control of your youth and your country. Unconditional love is great..its what parents should have. That includes punishment. It is more loving to teach them how to behave than to let them do whatever the hell they want.

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I am adding these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers.

    • Marshall

      What the FUCK is your problem, Socky? Look, I just recognized a major flaw in my personality that I hadn’t previously noticed and spoke about it here, which I will tell you was a fucking DIFFICULT THING TO DO, and here you are being an asshole because you disagree with the conclusions that led me to recognize that flaw. I’m trying to improve myself as a human being, why don’t you try doing the same. Maybe you should start by not being a dishonest trolling sockpuppet. That would be a good place to begin, I think.

      Is this person banned already? Because if not, consider my vote cast in favor of that outcome.

    • Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach

      Ignore the sock puppet, not worth your time.

      Just want you to know there are people here who agree with your sentiments entirely. I was raised by authoritarian fundamentalists, and it keeps me awake at night worrying that I might end being too much like them if I have kids.

      But acknowledging that you may have internalized those behaviors is a good first step towards rooting them out. For me, finding someone who felt the same way, and who is pointing out my flaws (and I hers) and helping me deal with them rationally, has gone a long way towards easing my fears.

      I wish you success Marshall. We all have it in us to be better people, but don’t get so wrapped up in your flaws that you fail to see what a good person you are (I’m assuming here, I don’t really know you. But it seems valid, based on your honest assessment of yourself).

      Bah, that sounds pretentious. Imma shut up before I jam my foot farther down my throat.

    • Marshall

      No problem here, thanks, this is what I needed tonight.

      It’s something I’ve kind of made a project of over the past two years, trying to root out deeply internalized problems in my personality. You would not believe the progress I’ve made in just that short space of time. Let’s just say that if I started commenting here two years ago (and if this collective existed two years ago), I would have been one of the people being called out for being an ignorant ass on a great number of things, and with good cause.

  • Jack

    I’m not going to watch the video — descriptions of it are enough for me. I think I’d be reminded a little too well of certain parts of my own childhood. This may be a little long and off-topic, and I apologize if it is.

    When I was in junior high, I skipped school a lot. My parents’ reaction to this wasn’t to try to find out WHY I wasn’t going to school; I guess that part wasn’t important, or maybe they knew full well and thought their gender-nonconforming kid needed to be bullied to learn to be normal. (If so, it didn’t work.) What they did, or mostly my father did and my mother just sort of passively let him do, was try to make home life so miserable I’d rather go to school than be at home.

    That didn’t work either.

    But I do remember clearly one day he decided the reason I wasn’t going was my alarm clock wasn’t going off, or I told him it hadn’t. The natural next step for him was to drag me to the unfinished basement with my clock radio and a hammer and make me smash it to bits.

    I do think he wanted to smash ME to bits too, but thankfully realized that was illegal.

    The only time my mother intervened in any of his discipline methods was a day when I’d cut class again, he called her at work and learned I had, and he told her he was going to come home and kill me. All she did was take me downtown for the day.

    Maybe other people can look at videos like this, or “discipline” like this, and see a loving father at the end of his rope. Just wanting his kid to know he’s the one in power so he can get her back on track. What I see is colored by my own childhood, one marked by fear and no safe places or allies anywhere.

    I haven’t talked to my father in over half my lifetime. I don’t have any desire at all to get in touch with him before one or the other of us is dead. He never had any interest in communicating with me back when we were a family, and I don’t think this father has any interest in communicating with his kid either.

    Shooting someone’s laptop doesn’t send the message that they want you to feel like they can talk to you openly about things. But then I don’t suppose that’s a parenting priority for him. I think that’s a mistake. I’m not a parent, just a former child who remembers how damaging it was at any age to not be able to talk to my parents at all.

    • echidna

      I empathise. Very much.

    • Jennica

      The difference is, she wasn’t beaten. You’re wrong in assuming just because you were abused (wrongly I might add,) that all parents who chose to punish kids rudeness or bad bahavior are wrong. Kids need to be told if they are wrong.. unfortunately their are parents who say they are trying to punish but just abusing..their IS a difference. This man didn’t hurt her. He took her laptop for being disrespectful to her parents and other adults. For a teen to be so stuckup and rude is absolutely untolerable. She was warned before and she didn’t he took what HE bought..she didn’t pay HE paid for it..Why should she keep a gift she doesn’t deserve? I wouldn’t have shot it but I don’t see how it is such a big deal..talking it out doesn’t work. talkings important but friends and parents should be seperate. that comes when you grow up. I should know. I wish my parents had told me how to behave. My parents tried the talk it out method, my brother talked with them..they were friends..he died at 16 on a meth overdose..we had NO idea he did meth, later to find out he wasn’t the sparkly clean child he appeared to be.. if my parents were parent that wouldn’t happen my sister wouldn’t have an alcohol problem and I wouldn’t be 23 with with a 5 year old. I knew what I was doing was wrong..i knew my parents wouldn’t punish me because they were afraid of how I’d react.. THAT was the problem. i will not make the mistake with my kids. I won’t hurt them, but they will have consequences. I love my parents..but they were never parents. they were friends, always there for me..but never parents. Now THAT is sad.

      Editor’s note: This comment is from a sock puppet; i.e., a single person commenting under numerous names to give the false impression that he or she represents a majority position. I added these disclaimers to all of his or her posts so they are properly flagged for readers. Then I banned this poster. This is the first banning from Camels With Hammers

  • Amanda

    I wholeheartedly agree with the statements here (and I am a psychologist). My concern for the daughter in this situation does not stem so much from the content of what was being said by either party, but the way in which it was handled.

    The father is trying to humiliate and control his daughter, not to mention invading her privacy. In addition, he is clearly abusing his power. Shooting an object is unnecessarily violent, but even more so, putting it on the web for the world to see is just so cruel. I shudder to think what this poor girl is going to have to endure from her peers. Who care about how many “likes” and “dislikes” this video has? This father has literally permanently altered his relationship with his daughter. He simply has no respect for her.

    As a child, she is entitled to make as ass out of herself, and say stupid things. As a parent, you should really try to set a better example. The sad thing is that this cannot be taken back.

    • Atlee Solomon

      I’m glad to see a mental health professional share their opinion. From hearing friends support the father’s actions, I was…, quite frankly, appalled. I’ve only found a few psychologists or other experts comment on this. But every single one is against what the father did. I wrote an entry on my blog that goes more in depth about my thoughts if you care to read it.

      Linked here:

  • ladycopper

    This guy made me sick. There are so many things wrong with what he did, but for the people above wondering what’s wrong, I’ll list a few.

    He was very hypocritical; swore constantly but she can’t; had a public tantrum but she can’t; showed her disrespect but she can’t; and etc. Hypocrisy is… just about the worst thing you can do when raising a teen, at least unless you acknowledge and apologize for it.

    He was extremely tense and confrontational the whole video. There was no vibe of affection for her or hope for her future – just, she’s a terrible human for acting like a teen and will grow up to be terrible unless he cracks down incredibly hard. (There is plenty of research that shows that intensity of punishments has far less to do with altering behavior than quick and consistent corrections, BTW). Basically, he considers her an enemy and acts like she is doing everything to spite him. On a purely selfish level, he is acting against his own interests because he is not going to get what he wants out of this AT ALL.

    EVEN IF his side of the story is correct, SHOOTING her laptop is frightening and a very highly threatening action. It was terrorism.

    I have a lot of sympathy for the girl and though I am prepared to admit she may be a completely spoiled brat, I seriously doubt it, based on several things.
    She says that her family often muddies up the floor right after she has cleaned it and she has to clean it again. He does not deny it. That at the least shows a lack of appreciation for her work, and could be a spiteful, harrassing pattern of behavior.
    She says she only gets about seven hours of sleep at night due to her school and home chores. That is physiologically VERY deficient at that age – rather than demanding she get a JOB, he needs to make sure she gets more rest.
    She says she feels like a servant. Based on his attitude, I doubt the family ever bothers to say thanks when she jumps up to get them coffee all the time.

    The overall tone of her letter makes me suspect there is a serious amount of abuse going on in that family to cause such a frustrated letter. Sure, teens whine, but the tone combined with her father’s pathological actions make me truly worried.

    Finally, the person above saying kids can grow up without going through any period of rebellion, just go straight to perfect adult; yeah, and end up as stunted and pathetic as her father is. He seems to have had a very hard life and never had a chance to recover from it. Now he is trying to continue the pattern. Really sad.

    I was raised in a fundie home which did not believe kids had to go through rebellion. We thought kids could become individuals while still staying just as close with their parents the whole way through. I believed it wholeheartedly myself. I DID NOT rebel and many people envied my parents because ALL of us kids skated through the teens with absolutely no issues at all – my mom used to joke that we should please at least dye our hair green or something. Now, a couple of us have gone through a late time of individualization which has been much harder than it should have been. The ones who have not done this yet, are emotionally about 14 still and are not progressing normally in life. Enmeshment is not a good thing.

    I don’t think rebellion has to be drugs and teen pregnancy, it’s a spectrum, but some at least while in the teenage years is good.

  • Ace of Sevens

    Here’s some more of his parenting. I believe this is the same girl. He’s made more than enough to pay for the laptop, software and bullets with page-views by now.

  • Chris
  • Graham Martin-Royle

    Well, that’s one relationship that’s now totally stuffed and will take forever to be repaired. Seriously, what he read out was what sent him off? That just sounded like a normal teenage whine. There wasn’t anything in it that most teenagers wouldn’t be saying about their parents, their lives. It’s not the daughter that needs to grow up, it’s this man.

  • Phledge

    Yeah, a lot of people in my extended family think this is HIGH-LARIOUS; I couldn’t quite verbalize what it was that bothered me about this but y’all have pretty much solidified it. The one thing I take away from this video is that Daddy’s widdle fee-fees are more important than his daughter’s, and that shit ain’t right. Awwww, you spent $130 on software? Welp, as an adult that was your choice. Awwww, your daughter used the word “shit?” Maybe you should speak to her privately about your values instead of calling her out internationally. Oh, and also, understand that kids learn from what you do and not what you say. Awwww, you’re ashamed that she “outed” your family about the things she doesn’t like? Yeah, if her accusations are false, it’s not worth addressing; if they’re true, you seriously need to examine the level of respect you give your daughter.

    I’m not the parent in this situation but all I see here is a spiteful man taking out his insecurities and lack of control on his daughter in an attempt to humiliate her and violate her personal and private space. If she ends up removing herself from that toxic situation sooner as a result of this emotional trainwreck it will only improve her lot in life. I hope she finds good counselling somewhere.

  • F

    Yer doin’ it wrong.

  • BenSix

    Why is he making a video when she won’t have a computer to watch it on?

    • Woof

      He posted it on her Facebook wall… specifically so her friends could see it. (Here, let me shove a little salt into that wound…)

    • Francisco Bacopa

      Which of course means that anything she said that her friends might have dismissed as whining will not only be confirmed, but recognized as the muted complaints of someone bordering on Stockholm Syndrome.

      Seriously dude, you posted this to her Facebook to humiliate her?

      And who the hell is the sock puppet? Why spend that much time here? I’m not usually one to say “get a life”, but GET A LIFE!

      I certainly hope the Anons are on the case. I’ll check for dox on Cabin Crew later tonight.

  • Nance Confer

    Does she get to shoot his car now?

  • Beth

    This video just makes me sad.

  • julian

    Hopefully she can get away from this thug and lead a healthy life. Judging just from this video (with this kind of person having had so much control over her for so long) it’s going to be an uphill fight.

    • Rich Wilson

      That was my thought. He mentioned how at her age he was living on his own. If he keeps this up (which he will) she may very well do the same.

  • desoto

    I was expecting him to read something horrible. What teen doesn’t gripe about those things? The video was all about him and his feelings. Clearly, there is no adult in that family. Assuming the girl isn’t exaggerating, what parent makes their kids get them coffee? He clearly isn’t an invalid.

    • Anat

      Hey, I occasionally made coffee for my parents. And myself. Maybe even guests once in a while. Turkish coffee, twice boiled. I was proud to be trusted with such a task. But it wasn’t expected routinely and when I was asked to prepare the coffee I was let to know my effort was appreciated.

  • Luna_the_cat

    Actually, I’m going to go out on a limb here and disagree. The guy’s facebook page is open, and reading his other comments gives this context. This isn’t the first incident with his daughter, I gather, and he had told her, in the past, that if she posted rants like that again that he would put a bullet through her laptop. Well, I think he overreacted, but on the other hand, she now knows that he wasn’t just bluffing. To know that if you keep doing something stupid there will be consequences — that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And she didn’t strike me as the most mature and self-aware 15-year-old on the planet.

    In his comments, he makes it plain that this wasn’t just an action in isolation, either, but was surrounded by discussion with his daughter, after the event as well. And that yes, his daughter was exaggerating about “all the work” she has to do for the family.

    Of course, we can’t judge without input from the daughter whether this was accurate or not, but if he had been a completely abusive control freak, I find it difficult to believe that he’d have managed the tone and content of the posts about the discussions on the rest of his facebook. Not to say I couldn’t be wrong, but it certainly makes it a possibility that he shouldn’t be condemned out of hand. And yes, from experience — teenagers can certainly exaggerate how hard done by they are.

    Now, I’m going to speak as the aunt of some profoundly troubled girls, and say that they probably would have benefited from their dad putting their foot down and doing something drastic to enforce discipline when they were 15. There are limits.

    • Luna_the_cat

      I am, of course, waiting for people to say that I shouldn’t be judging this without the input from the daughter. This is true. I would also like to point out that there are a lot of people here judging this without full context from either of them.

    • michaeld

      I don’t know that there is a context where breaking someone else’s property over a domestic troubles is acceptable (certainly not from anything he said). So I don’t know that the context really matters to be honest.

      For example does the fact that I have a history of insulting your parentage justify you keying my car?

      See I’d be far more on his side if took it away, I might even still be on his side if he sold it, but breaking it is nothing more then spiteful bullying and just bad parenting. I think it sends all the wrong messages as to what is moral or acceptable in society and is just overall bad parenting.

      Just as Christians aren’t going to get far saying I don’t know the context behind the treatment of slaves and frat boys aren’t going to get far discussing the length of a skirt, you’re not going to get far with you should know the context for parenting through destruction of property. Each argument is bad in my view and the only difference is the ranking of which is worse.

    • Anat

      To michaeld:

      See I’d be far more on his side if took it away, I might even still be on his side if he sold it, but breaking it is nothing more then spiteful bullying and just bad parenting.

      Selling or pawning the computer would have been appropriate in a case where the teen caused property damage and was unable to repay it from hir allowance and other resources. Simply misusing a computer (according to the father’s definition) should only result in loss of the privilege of using it, with some mechanism in place for the teen to demonstrate she had learned and is ready to regain said privilege. Maybe through a transition stage of closely supervised use (but that actually requires effort from the parent – tough that!).

    • Anat

      And that yes, his daughter was exaggerating about “all the work” she has to do for the family.

      I don’t go to facebook so I don’t know if there is anything there that clarifies the chore situation. There is a significant discrepancy between the amount of chores the teen claims to be doing and what the father claims is required of her. But that isn’t the only matter. What I get from the daughter’s letter is that she doesn’t feel her work is appreciated. At most, if she does chores her work is taken for granted. That isn’t a productive approach.

    • michaeld

      Indeed I too got the sense that a conversation and some pleases and thank yous might have been much better way to go with this. I’m alright right with you that selling it makes more sense if damage has been done and that’s probably a much better context for that kind of response.

    • John Morales

      This isn’t the first incident with his daughter, I gather, and he had told her, in the past, that if she posted rants like that again that he would put a bullet through her laptop. Well, I think he overreacted, but on the other hand, she now knows that he wasn’t just bluffing.

      He sure showed her.

      To know that if you keep doing something stupid there will be consequences — that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

      I too I suspect there will be consequences from his stupid act.

      (“not necessarily a bad thing”)

  • Daniel Fincke

    Here are some follow up remarks he made on Facebook. He evades having to confront adults, including qualified mental health professionals and journalists, by offering the reasoning that it would be wrong and a bad example to his daughter to try to garner fame and fortune through this:

    Attention Media Outlets:
    While we appreciate the interest you’re all putting forth to get in touch with us regarding the video, we’re not going to go on your talk show, not going to call in to your radio show, and not going to be in your TV mini-series.

    Some of you think I made an acceptable parenting decision and others think I didn’t. However, I can’t think of any way myself or my daughter can …respond to a media outlet that won’t be twisted out of context. The Dallas news TV news already showed that in their brief 5 minute interview with the psychologist.

    Additionally, there’s absolutely NO way I’m going to send my child the message that it’s OK to gain from something like this. It would send her a message that it’s OK to profit at the expense of someone else’s embarrassment or misfortune and that’s now how I was raised, nor how she has been raised.

    So I say thank you from all of us. If we have anything to say, we’ll say it here on Facebook, and we’ll say it publicly, but we won’t say it to a microphone or a camera. There are too many other REAL issues out there that could use this attention you’re giving us. My daughter isn’t hurt, emotionally scarred, or otherwise damaged, but that kind of publicity has never seemed to be to have a positive effect on any child or family.

    If you’re a news outlet that wants to ask us a question, feel free to so via email. I’m sure by now my email address is easy enough to find. It might take me awhile to get to a response because I’d have to sort through the “Die you bastard” emails to find it, but we will respond if its something that we feel merits it. Otherwise, sorry… no interviews, no talk shows, no call-ins.

    If we respond to anything, it will be on here, and it will be in a way that our words can’t be misconstrued or edited for appeal to specific audience or shock value.

    Now, I’m going to try to get to work for the day.
    Best of luck to all of you out there… and PLEASE give my phone a break.

    Here’s his Facebook page.

    • michaeld

      Yes we wouldn’t want my daughter gaining fame and attention from my attempt to gain fame and attention….

      Do you also want your daughter to not get the message that breaking peoples stuff is wrong by breaking peoples stuff… Honestly they should go get some family counselling.

    • Francisco Bacopa

      I was thinking from the junipers, burr oak, some other kind of oak that stays green I don’t know the name of but isn’t a live oak and probably similar to a water oak, and the fresh late winter grass it might be somewhere in northeastern Texas just a few hours away.

      That’s why I didn’t watch this video. I almost lost control over that judge in Rockport. This guy seems not as directly brutal here. I was certain that would send me over the edge because it was less direct.

      Only one other commenter so far has indicated she knows what that is like. You carry the hole forever. I won’t go into details here except to say my mother was a cunning, somewhat higher-functioning, atheist version of Andrea Yates. I will never forget my “kill drive” out into the woods late one morning.

      But I won’t watch this video. Most people know me as a calm and considerate person, but I am so good at hiding things, just like my parents were. I can talk my way out of tickets, become anything to anyone, make the sale and close the deal. But that’s only when I feel like I am in the position of power, I often suck at representing my own interests. The ticket thing is an exception.

      I have not always had that good a relationship with my brother, but one night we got really drunk at a yuppie pizza place and the stories all came out. I think his wife hadn’t believed half the stuff he told her. I confirmed it all. But then i said to him, “But it was not ever thus. Things were pretty normal until Grandad shot himself!” What a breakthrough. Yes, things were not always completely insane. My brother knew this as he was old enough to have really understood the prior normalcy. I am alive today because of that conversation.

      I could tell you the story of my greatest humiliation, but I won’t. It’s really mundane. No guns, no computers, and technically all the physical pain was self inflicted. At least people will be able to know this girl is in a totally fucked-up household. But nothing struck deeper into me than that night.

      Back when TLC was still the Learning Channel instead of the freakshow channel I was channel surfing and at the end of a program and I heard somebody say this as the credits began to roll:

      When an eight year old is bitten by a dog, he becomes afraid of dogs.

      When a five year old is bitten by a dog, he becomes a veterinarian.

      I’m pretty sure the show was not about dog bites. I have to work hard most days of my life to not be the veterinarian. I try Googling this quote every few months and I still don’t know the source. Please, if anyone recognizes it, please post a follow up here.

  • Cafeeine

    IT bothers me that people seem unaware of what the ‘punishment’ entails here.

    If her punishment was simply losing laptop privileges and having to pay back some costs to her parents this would be a different story.

    What we have here is a father declaring in public that because his daughter disobeyed him and hurt his feelings in the process he’s going to hurt her by destroying her laptop and having her pay for the privilege. From what is known, it seems that she didn’t make this rant public, but only available to her friends, which impies he actually hacked her account to see it. Furthermore he posts this on her facebook page for her friends to see, humiliating her in the process. That the video went viral was probably not his intent, but it compounds the problem.

    This is not discipline, this is revenge, this is payback. Moreso, it displays ignorance or hypocrisy by punishing an emotional immature internet rant with.. an emotional immature internet rant, the difference being the dad actually has the authority to do more than whine as he displayed with his shooting exercise.

    People getting hung up simply on the destruction of the laptop are missing the whole story.

  • Woof

    Additional things in the video not previously (AFAICT) mentioned:

    [1] There’s a stepmother involved. Always a complication.

    [2] There’s what appears to be off-the-books (undocumented?) domestic help, who works for unspecified considerations. Hmmm.

  • GregFromCos

    I actually just watched this video earlier today, and I just cringed. When he said he had grounded the kid last year for 3 months for saying negative things about her parents, I just thought… “Well there’s your problem”

    If you are going to be an authoritarian, don’t expect your subjects to treat you any better than authoritarian dictators get treated.

    • Francisco Bacopa

      At least she could be grounded, she had freedoms that could be taken away. At least things were described to her in terms of rules, authority, and consequences. Sorry to mope about myself here.

      I often think the idea of “consequences” is a bully’s tool. “Look what you made me do” the bully says. “if you had left the party earlier, you wouldn’t have been raped” the victim blamer says.

      I do a lot of tutoring for students who take formal logic. I am a huge stickler for precise use of language. I spend my whole first hour and a half with a client going over definitions and vocabulary. I find that most problems arise because they approach the problem visually and are trying to match things up without having a way to give names to what’s going on. I often find that clients tend to say “consequence” instead of “consequent”. I really try to break them of this habit. I get all Socratic on them and say “The consequences of an action happen WHEN relative to that action?” “After,” they usually say; If they can’t come up with “after” I know I have a tough case.

      So I introduce this conditional:

      “‘If Professor (insert name here) has tenure , he has a PhD’ Is that true?”(This is especially if the instructor is an associate without tenure, or simply an instructor working on her PhD as it shows that the F/F and F/T conditionals should be considered as true. Pace David Lewis.)

      I use this example to establish that conditionals are not to be taken as causal claims as they can go backward in time, though we might often represent causal claims as conditionals. But then I go further, because I simply must. I have to. Because they simply must understand the logic of bullying, abuse, rape-apology, and coercion in general. It is my mission. I use this mundane example:

      Teacher: I said that if you made another paper airplane you couldn’t go to recess, and you made another paper airplane, so no recess.

      Most people would think this is an appropriate way to teach kids to conform to certain norms, and I agree. But consider the pure logic of this argument. Yes, the kid made the antecedent of the conditional true and might not have made it true, so the kid is responsible for not going to recess. But who made the conditional itself true? The kid? No, the teacher made the conditional true. The teacher is as much a part of things as the kid is. That’s why I really try to teach my clients the distinction between a “consequence” and a “sanction”. Consequences are something that just might happen, sanctions are something somebody does.

      I fully accept that coercive sanctions are often necessary and appropriate. I love it that the cops caught the guy who tried to break into my car. I beamed with civic pride when I signed off on a conviction for a lesser charge than the prosecution wanted after throwing out the additional assault charge. The other jurors were more ready to convict, I made them make their case and gladly signed off after they presented to me a case based on the evidence rather than their prejudices.

      I am totally cool with coercion, it is a necessary part of life. The issue here is that we should not confuse natural consequences with coercion. As Katha Pollitt saud “the problem with male violence against women is that we confuse it with tornadoes.” No one is responsible for tornadoes, but I think we can all understand that abusers, bullies, date rapists, and Newt Gingrich (Yes, I admit here he is really a fellow human being) are responsible for their actions. They are nor impersonal natural forces.

      Rape is not merely a consequence, it is a sanction who chose to make a conditional true supported by others who make the antecedent true

      Bullying is not a natural consequence. The bullies made the conditional true by their actions.

      Rape is not a mere consequence. Rape is a sanction, and one I think that can never be appropriate.

      Partner abuse is not a natural consequence. Shit, I was about provoked as hell into beating the crap out of a partner in an out of control situation. She tore two of my books along the spine. You fuck with my books, you die. My mom tore my books, my dad took my books. To not kill anyone who fucked with with my books was to suffer again the abuse I experienced as a child. But I was better than that. I gathered my stuff and tried to leave, but was prevented from leaving without resorting to a level of violence I was comfortable with.

      I called the cops on myself!I was so blacked out with rage I could not even remember her address (911 did not autolocate to cell phones then)
      I had to read the address off her mail. I got the idea from a Beavis and Butthead episode.

      The cps came and neither of us pressed charges though we both could have. She hit me several times and I used a choke hold to get my phone back.

      After multiple interviews I was escorted out of the house and there were no charges. Yes, there is a way out even if your deepest rage doesn;t want to find it,

  • jay

    please do not judge this guy

    he’s competing with the internet for his daughter’s attention

    i bet he has her attention now

  • Rich Wilson

    Jeebus, are all those the SAME sockpuppet? Wow. I think you found her dad.

    And I assume you have more evidence that just an IP address?

    I do like the approach of outing them rather than banning.

    • Cafeeine

      I’d say that the similar argumentative style and often use of the same arguments, like focusing on the material destruction of the laptop accompanying with the same IP is pretty daming evidence. (As in enough to erect a dam keep her torrent of sock-puppet-ed comments coming in)

  • Firle

    I was linked to your post from a friend. And in your very first sentences you nailed it: This father never learned how to teach his daugther with love. He points it out himself – he left home at 15 – the very age when his daughter rebells.

    I work with family constellations in therapy settings. That’s a technique which looks at exactly this kind of patterns. The video demontrates a horrible pattern of unlove and misunderstandings passed down from parents to children and unto their children.

    Watching that video yesterdy made me sad, because unless that family finds enough motivation to get help and change their inherited patterns, things are probably going to get worse. There is so much anger there already.

    And the saddest thing: If they don’t realize what’s going on, they will all think they did the best they could. And they will hand down the pattern and righteous anger and life-long grudges right unto the next generation.

  • jamessweet

    Heh, came here from another post where Daniel offhandedly mentioned the sockpuppet incident. I knew right away, before seeing it, the sockpuppet was going to be on the pro-dad side. Bullies stick together it seems!

    My $0.02: I don’t actually think the dad’s actions were all that awful, and I admit to being a little amused. But it is bullying, and definitely less than ideal parenting. I don’t mean to be over-the-top in calling it “bullying”; I don’t even think bullying, in limited contexts, is completely off the table in parenting: If my almost-three-year-old son is about to do something that endangers his 12-month-old younger brother and I’m not close enough yet to physically intervene, you better believe on my way there I’m gonna take a tone of voice and body language intended to intimidate him as much as possible. Of course, once the danger is passed then I’ll try my best to communicate with him in a more long-term effective manner.

    Except for the dramatic flare of actually shooting the laptop — which, although kinda funny, I agree has some somewhat disturbing violent overtones — this is just run-of-the-mill “C-” level parenting. There’s probably much better ways of dealing with the issues he is having with his daughter, but there’s also much worse ways too. I don’t feel outrage that he could address his daughter this way, but neither do I understand the folks who want to give him a medal. We’re seeing mediocrity personified here.

    But it’s Mediocrity… with Guns!, so it goes viral. Blah.

    • James C.

      Does he get a C- with or without a curve?

    • Chris

      I’d be inclined to say with. Without a curve, it’s a solid F.

  • Anri

    This father has demonstrated to his daughter and everyone else that, in his opinion, a reasonable response to words is gunfire. That the appropriate answer to typing something is violence. And he has shown, above all else, that in his household, he expects to be lord and master to whom all must bow… and he will back that up with hollow-point explosive bullets if need be.

    Of these two children interacting, one at least has the excuse of being 15 years old.

  • Andrew Hall

    “He takes the natural process of teenage rebellion extremely personally. He cannot allow her the privacy to develop a self distinct from him. He cannot harness the 20 years or so more wisdom he should have on her to defuse her emotional outbursts in a way that turns them into constructive interactions. He can neither model adult behavior for her, nor train it into her.”

    Respectfully, do we know that his baseline behavior when dealing with his daughter on a regular basis is asshole? It’s fairly easy to fall into the Fundamental Attribution Error where one judges another’s bad behavior on intrinsic personality traits while thinking that one’s own bad behavior is due to situatinal factors.

    What we do know from the video is that he overreacted in this instance.

  • WMDKitty

    All I know is that “destruction of personal property” is a BIG RED FLAG for abuse.

    I sincerely hope this girl is safe.

    • Francisco Bacopa

      Destruction of personal property was a way that I was abused. This girl is NOT safe. Very much not safe.

      Someone above mentioned that at least he didn’t shoot a puppy. I would bet ten of my bux to one of yours he has killed a puppy or kitten as a threat. Never happened to me, but I know people it happened to. It’s quite common.

      I am remaining healthy here. A day later I have not checked this guy’s dox.

  • amavra

    I can’t even watch it. It just drives me crazy thinking about how me and my dad (don’t) interact, especially when I was a teen. And my dad never did anything like shoot a possession of mine, but we still don’t really talk.

    This shuts down communication hardcore, and if it happened to me I would not have had any inclination to talk to my dad about anything again – not for years anyway. But if that is what he wants, congratulations.

    Firle about said it perfect – this is a pattern of behavior that will continue probably, unless he or his children do what they can to change it, probably needing counselling to do so.

    Shooting a computer isn’t discipline, and it doesn’t teach any lessons except: I’m an asshole.

  • Sam

    It appears that the “editor” is flagging every post that disagrees with how he or she feels in order to put down their opinion, and discount it as spam. How does this represent freedom of opinion or allow for good constructive argument?

    • Daniel Fincke

      No, you’re wrong, Sam. The comments all came from the same IP address, from someone using the same e-mail. Sock puppetry does not get any clearer than that.

  • jemand

    I think he’s going to see very little of his daughter in the future. And he had better have all his retirement planning set up for his entire life… as if he wants anything more than bread and water from her, he’ll be asking far more than he’s due.

    But most children are far, far more forgiving than they have any reason to be. Doesn’t matter, people still yell at them for not giving up *everything* every sense of identity, ever bit of self-differentiation, or else it’s not “respect” of their parents.

    Such parents deserve *nothing.*

    • teh_faust

      “But most children are far, far more forgiving than they have any reason to be”

      This my view also.It seems like there is a strong taboo against calling out an injustice against one’s parents. Even in societies that are generally critical of tyranny and authoritarianism and where checks and balances are installed in most institutions, parents get bestowed with a sort of… sanctity.
      Also, the amount of control they can exer on their children (especially in a psychological sense) makes it hard for victims to acknowledge the reality and validity of their experience.

  • Joe

    I can’t really understand how the video has that many likes; it seems that lots of people relish emotional abuse now. What does he think it’s really gonna solve? He chose to resort to abuse rather than to a pacifistic and more effective alternative, and got placed on a pedestal for doing so. I felt like the odd one out watching that video. I’m glad there’s others who condemned his behaviour. Phew! :)