Thursday, February 16, 2012

Laptops, Guns, Teenagers & Catholic Pundits

On seeing a particularly annoying faux pas in the National Catholic Reporters coverage of Tim Jordan's approach to his daughters errors with social media, I had to write the below.

My little rant may even appear in their comments - but I think it may suffer "reasoned discourse". My comments are below...

A technical correction.

45mm would equal 1.77 inches (rounded).

Anything hurling a projectile of that volume at any significant speed is going to be a crew served or otherwise deeply non-portable (think "mortar" or "light artillery") device.

What Mr. Jordan utilized, for good or ill, were .45acp (Automatic Colt Pistol, muzzle diameter 45/100 of 1" or 11.43mm, with projectiles ranging in weight between 185 and 250 grains) cartridges.

These, in turn, were fired out of a variant on the M1911A1 pistol (introduced to U.S. military service in 1911, carried as primary service weapon through the late 1980's).

Regrettably, in the teen years sweet reason will occasionally fail even the most skilled of parents with the most compliant of offspring and a more transactional approach will become necessary to both teach the fundamental concept of "action=consequence" as well as more immediate lessons around specific actions being prohibited or controlled.

To the extent that such transactional approaches can be kept at the social level (grounding, etc), so much the better. However, in some instances some variant on denial of property is at least as effective, if not moreso, in communicating a behavior or action is unacceptable.

I'm of mixed views regarding Mr. Jordan's approach. I certainly think he is within the realm of reason to demand the daughter pay for the expenses (in my eyes, the cost of the mis-used laptop + any software + labor + ammunition), but would tend to argue a better path might have been to seize and sell the offending laptop and for Mr. Jordan to simply buy himself a new firearm.


DaddyBear said...

I sold some seized property of my oldest's to pay for his AP exams and school fees. Although putting that GD PSP on a target stand and putting some 7.62x54r through it might have been more satisfying.

Tango said...

The bullets through the laptop showed finality. There was no possible way for her to beg him to back out of it. It's DONE. It's FINAL. It's a lesson she has no choice but to learn from.

StephArmstrong said...

I kind of wondered what the deal was with shooting the laptop myself. I figured that if it were me I'd sell the thing and pocket the cash.