about that youtube clip with laptop shooter dad.

By now half the Internet has seen the video of the dad shooting his daughter’s laptop for posting disrespectful stuff about her parents on Facebook.

Personally, I don’t think it’s genuine. The dad is an IT professional with a book about to come out, so I think he took a non-working laptop and ginned up a story in order to get YouTube hits. Call me a cynic, but something about the whole thing just reminds me of Balloon Boy a few years back. But there’s a chance it may be a genuine thing. As a father and a gun owner, I have a few opinions about this, and none of them are particularly favorable.

If the whole thing went down as claimed, Laptop Shooter Dad is guilty of quite a few offenses:

Improper use of a firearm.

Guns have their purposes. They’re for defense of self or home, hunting, sporting, or recreation. They’re most certainly not tools for family conflict resolution. I don’t object to shooting a laptop with a pistol (God knows I’ve disposed of annoying computers that way before for fun), but shooting and destroying something to make points in an argument is moronic and immature. It also paints gun owners in a bad light, reinforcing the stereotype of the redneck NRA yokel who goes to his gun first when faced with any sort of interpersonal friction.

Waste of perfectly good property.

Destroying a $500 laptop to teach your kid a lesson? That’s wasteful and stupid. If the object is to deny her the use of the laptop, put it on eBay and donate the money to a charity, or use it to buy some booze for yourself. Riddling it with bullets is like holding a lighter to a stack of hundred-dollar bills. His money, sure, but absolutely the worst use for the cash I can think of. For a few moments of anger therapy, he’s out at least half a grand. (Of course, the revenuepsharing on the advertising on the YouTube clip has probably netted him enough to buy a gold-plated MacBook and a Porsche to drive it around in, so  maybe his strategy has paid off from a fiscal perspective. Still, for someone who can’t just drop money on a new laptop on a whim, it’s a pretty nauseating thing to watch.)

Airing family business in public.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t put any sort of family issues on YouTube, Facebook, or my blog, because it’s nobody’s business. My kids may misbehave on occasion, but I don’t run off and tell the world about it. All you accomplish is to make other people doubt your parenting skills, paint yourself in an unflattering light, and cause resentment in the family for airing your laundry in the middle of the town green.

Looking like an immature petulant dork.

This is the lesson you want your kid to learn? That the proper way to handle an argument is to one-up the other party, break their stuff, humiliate them in public, and ratchet up the stakes? That doesn’t teach her to respect you, it just shows her that her old man can’t win an argument with a teenager without resorting to public preening and whipping out handguns. Well done indeed, Dad. I’m sure she’ll remember that episode ten or twenty years hence and feel nothing but respect and admiration.

So there you have my opinion on Laptop Shooter Dad, and my short list of reasons why I won’t be joining the line congratulating him on his parenting skills. As a dad and a responsible gun owner, I think he’s setting a lousy example for both dads and gun owners.


18 thoughts on “about that youtube clip with laptop shooter dad.

  1. Matthew Carberry says:

    You left out “…and keeping the King of England out of your face.” 😉

  2. John says:

    Well said. I’m a grandpa now. I well remember my girl’s earlier years. Kids learn by example, and they notice MORE THAN YOU THINK THEY DO about what kind of example you’re setting.

  3. Gary says:

    Excellent statement on this Internet Atrocity. Virtual parenting? WTF?

    Nothing short of disgraceful behavior. Thank you, Marko.

  4. LabRat says:

    Hear hear.

    My first reaction to the whole business was that in cases where someone else described to me a person who violently destroyed property and blamed its destruction on someone else for “disrespecting them”, and used public humiliation as a tool… they were always describing one incident in a long horrible list from a blatantly abusive parent/spouse/significant other.

  5. Michael G. says:

    Oh thank $deity, I was starting to think I was the only one disgusted by this video, after reading all of those “Dad of the frikken’ decade, woot!” reactions.

  6. T. Munk says:

    Odd, my first thought on seeing that video was “Oh, great. your shooting angle is *towards* a roadway with cars driving on it.”

  7. Lanius says:

    What could one expect from a humorless, priggish Kraut..

  8. Lanius says:

    Improper use of a firearm.

    Nope. I’ve used a Mosin and MG rounds to drill holes in a pinch. The drill was broken.

    Waste of perfectly good property.

    By sacrificing a laptop, he has shown his family that money isn’t everything.

    Airing family business in public.

    He’s guilty of that, true. But I think the mere fact that lots of bratty, snotty teenagers who’ve seen this video and whose dads own hats and guns will behave better from now on is worth being a little notorious.

    Looking like an immature petulant dork.

    Not everyone is a cog-type, ISO-certified mild mannered overly* civilized guy like you. He may look like that to you, but I think he’s just your slightly more violent average guy who’s had too much..
    …and he couldn’t take it anymore.

    *you are German. It’s all about being proper and shit like that for Germans. I’ve been to Germany and seen the mass graves where all the people who couldn’t get their yards into Singapore-level of neatness are buried..

    • Zane says:

      I’m with Marko on this one. There were myriad better ways to go about this.

      • Lanius says:

        Spineless wage slave!

        • Lanius says:

          (it’s a joke. I’ve been playing too much RO2 now where I roleplay as a Soviet version of GSgt Hartmann to make the feckless, aimless pub players pull together. It’s a good thing the squad leader has a PPsh-41 and they only have bolt actions and cannot really shoot. Sometimes, I have to summarily execute half of my own squad to make the other half obey commands)

  9. Bill Johnson says:

    I’m with Marko, but:

    Alinsky says Child and Family Services will leave this guy alone, as will the local constabulary. And liberals wet their pants. WIN.

    But I sure wouldn’t waste a laptop like that. Nor would I advertise my gun ownership, had I any.

  10. The Other Jay says:

    Wouldn’t have done it, simply based on the safety issues already covered.

    I understand why he did – worldwide publicity. You literally can’t buy it.

    I’m so cheap that my (Depression Era) Mom thinks I’m cheap. No way I’m using a functioning laptop for target practice.

    After the amusement passes, he looks like a butthead. Teenagers are occasionally idiotic and nearly always massively self-centered. Parents do not have the luxury.

  11. The Other Jay says:

    Marko –

    It reads like the winter is getting a bit on your nerves.

    Can you Dadcation some range time soon?


  12. AM says:

    Freedom means people are going to do things that you personally don’t agree with. I saw nothing illegal or unethical about the video. I don’t know the backstory behind his daughter, I don’t know if her future will be better for having dad shoot the laptop. But I do know that it is his family, his property, and until I see any sort of evidence of abuse, neglect, or illegal activity I have no reason to involve myself.

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