Respect and shooting laptops

Not a conservative thing to do. Not good and proper use of handguns and laptops and fatherly authority.

By now I guess most people have seen the video of this guy in cowboy hat shooting his daughter’s laptop. (Or possibly the laptop he lent her, she was just 15 so probably could not afford her own.) I am not sure I even need to link to it, but hey. Here’s one copy, for as long as it last.

Now, some of my friends are conservatives, and I’m not ashamed of that. But I am ashamed that they so quickly side with this guy. I can see why, in America: There this total war or ideology, where the liberals and conservatives generally disagree on everything. If they were to agree on anything by now, one of them would need to quickly change their mind! One of these things is that liberals want law-abiding people to not have guns, so of course when conservatives see this guy has a gun and ain’t afraid to use it, they assume he is one of them.

Let us call him on that.

See, I grew up around guns. OK, those were rifles, but that doesn’t really make things better. We learned to use them while we were still growing up, and to maintain them, but we also learned something else: We learned to respect them. Guns are not can openers. They are made for ending lives. Handguns, of course, are specifically made for ending human lives (although they can also be used on rabid animals). Rifles can also be used for hunting, but the point still stands. These things are specialized bringers of death. As such, they command a particular respect. Life is sacred, certainly human life is. A tool for taking life earns a kind of “mirror” sacredness from this. It is something you treat with respect. You use it for practice, and if the Light is merciful, that is all you will ever need it for. You don’t use it interchangeably with any random tool. Unless you lack respect. This guy does that.

This point is important. What he does shows a lack of respect. A lack of keeping things to their proper use. That kind of respect, or knowing what is proper, is what being a REAL conservative is all about. Bringing handguns into a family dispute is very far from proper. So no, he did not point it at his daughter. Seriously, that’s setting the bar really low. Like in the grass somewhere. You have to be pretty inbred to do that and tell the world, since you’d get hauled off by the sheriff the next day. So, shooting office equipment is pretty much as far as he can get away with. In any case, it is not proper, it is not respectful toward the power and purpose of a weapon.

But if you don’t get that, let us continue with his next disrespect, which is for the value of useful things. Rather than just confiscating the computer, perhaps formatting it, perhaps selling it, perhaps giving it to charity or whatever, he thinks it is a good idea to destroy it. To teach his daughter a lesson. Yes, and what is that lesson? That he is willing to completely destroy what he has invested money and time in? That is a very useful message for a kid to hear, given that there is nothing parents have invested so much time and money in as their children. I am sure she is thrilled to know that. But let us get back to the “useful thing” part.

Let’s say she had been driving a car recklessly – would it be OK to take a sledgehammer to the car and reduce it to rubble? To send her a message?

If she’d sneaked a boyfriend into the house and made out there – would he set the house on fire, to teach her a lesson?

Destroying perfectly useful things is disrespectful. Of course, he could probably afford it, given that they had hired help in the house and such. I am sure he could afford it. So if you could afford another house, would it be a good idea to set fire to one of them? I don’t think so. It is what we used to call “wanton destruction”. It is disrespectful to those who made a useful thing, and it is disrespectful to those who could have used it. I know people these days are throwing away stuff, but conservatives usually try to have a yard sale or flea market or something. Just destroying them is more of the hip urban lifestyle.

I don’t really need to point out that belittling his daughter on YouTube was disrespectful to her. At least she deserved it. After all, she started it! But… a father sinking to the same level as a 15 year old, having to make sure everyone knows that he got the last word, that he is The Man – that is not dignified. Sorry man, but that is beneath you as a parent. If you filmed it and showed it to your daughter, OK. But having to compete with an underage girl for status is… well, not conservative. It is not dignified, it is not proper. If this guy has any living parents, I hope they don’t have Internet access. This is just embarrassing.

See, respect is not something you can take. It is something you get. You cannot make people respect you except by living with integrity, by being a honest and righteous person. What you’re doing is intimidation, not the same thing.

Now, to demand respect from others and not show respect where you should, that is not integrity. That is hypocrisy. You want to be respected but you don’t show proper respect for things and for people and for yourself. There is no denying that this girl showed a horrible lack of respect and propriety. And there is not much doubt where she got it from, either.

2 thoughts on “Respect and shooting laptops

  1. That’s a basic difference between European and American mentality, I think. Not an individual thing. Most Americans, especially the conservative ones, would probably consider the notion that things deserve respect in any way crazy. Pagan. Idolatrous. I’m not taking any sides here, it’s just what I have observed.

    It’s not a new thing either. Rose Wilder Lane wrote in the Discovery of Freedom (1943), proudly: “An average American working man’s garbage can would nourish bountifully any European lower-middle-class family.” In the fifties, an American would put out his cigarettes in leftovers at a restaurant. He paid for it, if he didn’t eat it, nobody else should either.

    The concept of proper use is probably un-American as well. You use whatever does the job, and finding unconventional uses for things is a virtue.

    Liberals might see it differently. I found that in the general way of thinking, American conservatives are closer to the old European Left, and American liberals are closer to European conservatives.

    • Well, liberal is something entirely different in Europe than in the US. It was also different in the US of old. What we Europeans call labor politics or social democracy has stolen the clothes of the liberals while they were bathing, so to speak. How they got away with that I am not sure. They have even switched around the colors so that the more right-wing party now is thought of as red, and the more left-wing party as blue.

      As for the lack of respect, that is just sad. No great civilization can be maintained without generous reverence. And my point still stands: If a child has grow up without seeing anyone show respect, how is she expected to suddenly do so herself? Where should she have learned it? Hardly by watching TV, nor on the Internet.

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