Trigger warnings apply for violence, for violent response to exercising free speech, for patriarchy, and for firearms.
I am currently trying to explain via facebook why this is horrible and terrifying, and why I feel for the girl who wrote this letter to her father. Don't read the comments, they're equally horrible. That letter speaks to me of a strident power imbalance, of feeling like a slave in your own home, of being expected to perform and obey at the drop of the hat with no say in your own labor. It speaks to me of a master/servant relationship. This girl felt so much frustration that she had to vent about it to her friends, from whom (I assume) she felt she would receive some sympathy and emotional support. She felt she had to do this because clearly she did not feel she could trust her parents to respect her disagreements or treat her with justice. And her father responded to this by taking her laptop, her method of communication with that support system, her vehicle for free speech, and shooting it with .45 caliber 'exploding hollow-point rounds'.
How many times do I have to freaking say it?
CHILDREN ARE HUMAN BEINGS.
They are not little automatons whose job it is to follow you around and worship you constantly. They are not unthinking, unspeaking hollow men with no will of their own and no desire except to fulfill your will. They are PEOPLE, for fuck's sake. People have personalities. People have their own desires and interests. People will not always do what you want them to do. It is not proportionate to react to a child displaying any of these qualities with violence or destruction of their property. If this man had done this to his daughter just a couple of years later he'd be put in prison, but since she's (presumably) underage, it's totally acceptable under the law?
I am a parent. If I'd found Jake had posted something like this on facebook, I'd have sat him down and said, "I found this rant you posted on facebook. I'm concerned for a couple reasons: A) you clearly don't feel like you're being treated fairly in our house, and you don't feel like we appreciate or value your labor, so obviously we need to work on that, because we love you and you're a valued member of our family. B) you just as clearly didn't feel like you could trust us to respect your grievances if you talked to us about this personally. Why not? How can we change that?" And once we've gotten through that, I would have asked the most important question: "What changes would you like to see going forward? Is there a way we can help alleviate the way you feel your chores are encroaching on your schoolwork? Is there a better way to distribute your responsibilities so you're getting the rest you need? (Teenagers need more sleep per day to function at optimal capacity than what this girl is getting) What do you feel is missing from your daily routine (off-time? Worship time? Time with friends? All of these are important for a person's psychological health), and how can we adjust things to make sure you have time for these things? What are your goals (she spoke of her schoolwork, so it seems like this is important to her, or at least it's an issue her parents care about and she feels she is not being given enough time or opportunity to live up to their expectations) academically, athletically, socially, and what would help you achieve those goals?"
This doesn't mean we have to tailor our lives around our child's desires, but opening a forum for discussion, LISTENING to him and considering his input, being willing to place some importance on the things that are important to him, would probably help solve this problem in a much more constructive way than putting a full clip through his laptop. Just saying.