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Monday, February 13, 2012

Kill the laptop, not the teenager. Resentful father shoots his daughter's laptop with a .45 after nasty Facebook posts.

Every parent fantasizes about punishment that truly fits the crime sometimes. Not every parent is gutsy enough to pull it off. But when this man found expletive-laced posts from his teenaged daughter about her parents making her do chores on some little-known forum of friends called "Facebook," he shot down her nasty behavior. Pun fully intended. Watch the cleaned-up, shortened version below.

Do I think this guy's a great father? No. His example alone leaves much to be desired. On the full clip, he is smoking a cigarette before unloading his clip into the offending laptop. Do I commend him for rocking that HP's digital world? Yes.

If a child goes against established rules and uses technology in a way that demeans the entire family on a forum as open and widespread as Facebook, punishment ought to be exacted. Was it extreme? Probably. But in an awesome, back-country hillbilly way. Not only that, but I like that he then used the same social media she was using to call out the problem. It was reciprocal and spread far beyond what her original nastiness could have covered. One of many versions I found has already been viewed more than 21,000,000 times on youtube.com.

Now this would have led to digital mud slinging had he not shot the laptop, but since it's a buried brick now, father gets the last word. More than 21 million times. Would I recommend this behavior to anyone? Nope. But neither would I put up with my child bad-mouthing me on the Internet. Let's just be glad this clip wasn't of him unloading the clip into the offending daughter, instead.

This stands as proof that family issues should be solved within the family. Face to face. No social media interactions, texting, or e-mailing will substitute for that. The substitutes make the offense far more public than it ought to be. Period. Besides, you can forget you love someone when writing a text or reading one. Face-to-face interactions will always go better than those carried out digitally. Reading body language, tone and more just can't be done on a computer or phone. You bet this girl will think real hard about ever getting on Facebook again, much less to shake her parents down. And the father probably has his own regrets about posting his response to youtube. Let's keep family in the family. To kids: don't demean anyone publicly. Especially parents. To parents: By all means shoot the laptop, but keep that between you and your kid. 21,000,000 voyeurs just don't need to know about your discipline issues.

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