One very important aspect of the public reaction is that many people have said that since this father bought the laptop for his daughter (which they assumed), that made it acceptable for him to destroy it. Some of them even said that it would be different if she bought it with her own money. Well, I came across this last night, which is allegedly a quote from Tommy Jordan himself, from his own Facebook page, in response to someone who asked why he didn't just sell his daughter's laptop instead of shooting it:
I actually considered selling it on eBay, but decided against it. She bought it with her money. For us to sell it and take the money, in my mind anyways, is just theft, even from my own kid.I tried digging through the more than 30,000 (!) comments on the posting to see if I could get a screen shot to prove this, but it was too time-consuming. After trying for a while, I realized it wouldn't matter if I proved it anyway. For at least a few people, it didn't. Last night I read some discussion threads that went like this:
Dad-supporter1: The laptop was technically his since he bought it with his money, so it's fine if he wanted to destroy it.
Daughter-supporter: The dad said she bought it with her money so really it belonged to her.
Dad-supporter1: Oh, well actually it doesn't matter anyway, because legally anything a child owns belongs to the parents. It was still his to destroy.
Dad-supporter2: Yeah, and where did she get the money to buy a laptop if she didn't have a job? It must have been her father's money. Therefore it belongs to him.You see, it is convenient at the start to assume the father had bought the laptop for his daughter, because that makes it easy for people to allow him ownership of it (even if it was a gift to her). But it's not a necessary condition if one is looking to justify the father's actions. Even with the father admitting that it was HER money used to purchase the laptop, people will find a way to take it away from her.
The father himself admits that if he sold the laptop and took the money, that would be stealing, but to render the item useless? No problem. What is the disconnect here? How is destroying her property NOT stealing?
I have read some of the follow-up to this story, and it has been very discouraging. Apparently Hannah is saying it was not a big deal, after she got over the initial shock. It makes me sad to think that she (along with so many other people) has brushed off this assault on her rights. However, I realize she doesn't have much of a choice. She has to live with this man for a few more years. Mr. Jordan has said that he doesn't regret what he did (except for the fact that he was holding a cigarette, that he used the word "ass," and some parts of his wardrobe choice). Otherwise he would do it again the same way. Therefore no matter how upset Hannah really is about this, she knows better than to make a fuss now, as long as her father is still around her-but-not-really-her belongings with a gun.
I also feel terrible about all of the nastiness being thrown in her direction. She is the clear villain in this story to most people, as if they were never teenagers and never had complaints about their parents. So many people have said "Yeah, but I would never have posted that on Facebook." I would like to remind these people that they would never have heard her words were it not for her father reading them to the internet-at-large. He is the one who publicized her words.
The general public consensus seems to be that children should not have the right to own property at all, even if that property was obtained with their own money. Also, many people seem to feel that children complaining about their parents is disrespectful and is an offense punishable by destruction of the property that doesn't even belong to them. That is discouraging for all the children out there who are being mistreated by the very people who brought them into this world.
One more disturbing fact: when the police came to visit the Jordan home, to answer the many calls they received about the incident, here's what Mr. Jordan says happened:
The police by the way said ‘Kudos, Sir’ and most of them made their kids watch it. I actually had a ‘thank you’ from an entire detectives squad.So much for the police looking out for this teen and her property. I hope if someone destroyed something of mine, the police reaction would be better than this.
I can't promise I am done talking about this yet.