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Video: Laptop-shooting dad: I stand behind what I did

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    >> wife dr. amy jordan. good morning. good to see you. it's been a month to the day, tommy . how has life changed for you?

    >> wow. it's changed a lot. we had a lot of scrutiny, a lot of people keeping an eye on every little comment we make and everything we do on facebook and the internet.

    >> mark mentioned we did a poll on "today." he said 72% of the people supported you and you were quick to say 73% actually. you have been following this. have you had tough attacks? have you gotten rough e-mails?

    >> yeah. 10,000, 20,000. i couldn't keep track. i'm pulling in probably 1,000 a day on a slow day. i'm trying to filter them for good and bad. i have folders called good, bad, press. there's more good mail than bad, but there is a large amount of bad mail.

    >> hannah marie , one of the comments i heard is how is this young lady doing? what's going on behind the scenes at that house? share that with me. in the day after your dad's video went public, i know there were tears on your part, you were upset. what happened next?

    >> we got home, talked about it. and we went our separate ways for a while, but we came back together. we were laughing about it afterwards.

    >> you say you were able to find humor in it. when you look at what you posted on facebook it was rough. you used a lot of expletives in referring to your parents. do you understand you did something wrong? do you think you did something wrong?

    >> yeah, i know that i did now.

    >> is that to get out of the grounded situation or do you believe that?

    >> i believe it.

    >> how do you feel about the way your dad handled it publically?

    >> i think he overreacted a little bit, but i understand.

    >> have you said that to him? dad, i think you overreacted.

    >> i don't know. have i?

    >> yeah. that first day, i think you did.

    >> tommy , the part of the story that get it is most attention -- and i don't think for the right reasons -- is the shooting of the laptop. you could have put it in the trash, run over it and accomplished the same thing. the question i have is this -- and dr. phil brought it up. you felt hannah marie did something wrong by publically hue mail yating you guys on facebook . and the way you punished her was to publically humiliate her. why do two wrongs make a right?

    >> i forget who it was, but tommy , you got down to her level. you shouldn't have done that. well, we tried the adult level. we tried talking about it. we tried taking the laptop away. twice we tried taking it away or grounding her. it didn't work. so, yeah. i put it on a level -- i got down on her level, the exact same format she used. she put it on facebook . i put it on facebook .

    >> you couldn't have gone in the living room and had the same discussion with her without the camera, shot the camera in the backyard but done it privately and kept it a family matter?

    >> possibly, in hindsight, considering all the cps and d.s.s. is involvement and that sort of stuff. maybe that was the right thing to do. i can't change it. i did what i did, i stood behind it and i still do.

    >> i hope tommy take this is the right way. i think there may be some and according to our polling it would be a minority. but there might be some people looking at the video saying, here's a yahoo with more ammunition than brains. i think people will be surprised to know that in my experience with your husband he is a very thoughtful, very caring, very intelligent, very articulate guy. what's your experience in all of this been?

    >> i totally agree. people may look at the video that don't know him or us and think we're just completely uneducated country people. that's not the case. he's very intelligent, very thoughtful. he rarely does anything without thinking it through or even consulting me on a lot of occasions. this wasn't any different.

    >> i think it's a good opportunity now that amy has talked about you, we have heard your rant against hannah marie . tell me about her. what's she like as a daughter?

    >> i have a great kid. people took eight minutes to judge me and 30 second where is i read hannah 's note to judge her. i have a great daughter. she made a mistake that day. i made a mistake that day. i stand behind what i did, but the consequences were larger than hers were. i have a great daughter. she's smart, intelligent, all honors classes. she's socially adapted well with other kids, with us.

    >> is she still grounded?

    >> oh, yeah.

    >> does she have a new computer?

    >> i get asked that a lot. no. we had people that same day on facebook . i had a guy that tried to start a conversation who said, i will send you one right now. give me the address. you don't get the point.

    >> i want to mention you have been able to stay anonymous in this at home because your last name is your mom's last name. it's not jordan. what's it going to be like at school now? you will go to school and everybody will know you were the young lady involved in this episode?

    >> i think it's going to be different, but i don't think it will be that bad.

    >> a little extra attention maybe?

    >> probably.

    >> tommy , i was up front with you when we talked on the phone and met in person. i said, i don't agree with what you did.

    >> i respect that.

    >> and you said, you're not a perfect parent, you struggle with decisions on a daily basis. what have you learned from this?

    >> hard to answer that. there's been a lot of things. the biggest thing we learned from this, i think, all the public scrutiny that followed this, every single thing we did was watched for almost a month and still is. every comment. everything we do on facebook is watch. i'm on facebook a lot as part of my job. there are 100,000 comments to everything we do. it makes you stop and think about everything you do. the public scrutiny has helped me. i hesitate to say us, but all of us, think about everything that's going on in our lives. we were asked a lot of questions about things that people previously didn't care about.

    >> you had always told hannah marie everything she did on facebook could come back to affect the rest of her life.

    >> that's the point. a lot of what we were trying to make with her in the beginning is don't post anything on the web -- this goes for all parents and children. don't post anything on the web you don't want the entire world to see. that was why we were upset with her in the first place. all of this has driven the point home.

    >> you have learned the lesson. you have something to give hannah marie ?

    >> i do. everybody assumed -- i don't know why, but it was kind of a hot headed rage when i did it. just for proof, there's hannah 's hard drive. all her data was saved. all her pictures were saved. i didn't go out there and empty a clip into my kid's laptop. there was thought in it. i saved your data. when you get a laptop, you can put that back in it. fair enough?

    >> yeah.

    >> you may want to grab it and hang on. thanks for joining us. i appreciate it. this story has generated so much response among our viewers. it's nice to get to know the people behind that short eight and a half-minute video. thanks for coming in. they'll be back later to answer your questions. to join the conversation go to today.com. we'll have much more with them on "rock center with brian williams " tonight at 10:00 /9:00 central time on nbc.

By
TODAY contributor
updated 3/7/2012 9:29:55 AM ET 2012-03-07T14:29:55

He may have riddled his teen daughter’s laptop with bullets for millions to see on YouTube, but Tommy Jordan says he and Hannah Marie have made amends.

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The 8:23 clip featuring Jordan shooting the 15-year-old's computer nine times with hollow-point bullets has been watched more than 31 million times since it was posted in early February. The North Carolina father was retaliating against an expletive-laced Facebook message Hannah Marie had posted about her parents. A camera was rolling as he took her computer into the backyard and said, “This right here is her laptop. This right here is my .45.’’

Video: Laptop-shooting dad: I stand behind what I did (on this page)

Nearly a month later, he spoke out about their relationship outside of those eight minutes of infamy. The video has 10 times more likes than dislikes on YouTube, and 73 percent of more than 120,000 voters on TODAY.com have supported Jordan’s actions.

“A lot of people took eight minutes and 23 seconds of my life to judge me, and they took about 30 seconds of those where I read Hannah’s note to judge her,’’ Jordan told TODAY’s Matt Lauer Wednesday. “I have a great daughter. She made a mistake that day. I made a mistake that day. I stand behind what I did, but the consequences were a lot larger than what hers were.’’

Dad shoots daughter's laptop over Facebook post

“We got home, (and) we talked about it,’’ Hannah Marie told Lauer. “We went our separate ways after a while, but we came back together. We were laughing about it soon afterwards. I think he overreacted a little bit, but I understand.’’

Hannah Marie’s stepmother, Dr. Amy Jordan, said her husband's not a hot-head.

Video: Laptop-shooting dad wants to start a ‘movement’ (on this page)

“People may look at that video that don’t know him or us and think we’re just completely uneducated country people, and that’s not the case,’’ Amy Jordan said. “He’s very intelligent. He’s very thoughtful. He rarely does anything without thinking it through or even consulting me on a lot of occasions, and this wasn’t any different.’’

TODAY viewers weighed in with questions for Tommy and his family Wednesday, including one asking if he has any regrets.

“Considering what’s come of it and the national and almost international conversation that it sparks, no I don’t,’’ he told Savannah Guthrie.

Video: KLG, Hoda: Should parents ‘pull the trigger’?

But would he do it again?

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"It would be a tough decision to know what I know now," he told Guthrie. "It’s brought a lot of stress on my family. I’m sure I’d have to weigh, ‘Is the international story that seems to be talked about more important than my family’s peace of mind?' So that would be tough."

“I think all of this has happened for a reason and we just have to kind of follow where it leads and make something good out of it,’’ Amy said.

Tommy produced Hannah Marie’s hard drive on TODAY Wednesday, noting he removed it before obliterating the laptop so that she would not lose her personal data.

“Everybody assumed that this was a hot-headed rage when I did this, but just for proof, here’s Hannah’s hard drive,’’ he said. “There was a little bit of thought in it.’’

Video: Donny ‘disgusted’ by laptop-shooting dad

Hannah Marie, who wrote an apology note to her parents, has not gotten a new laptop, is still grounded and is only allowed restricted Facebook use. The family has learned about the consequences of making things public online.

“Every little thing we do on Facebook is watched, so there’s 100,000 comments to every little thing you do,’’ Tommy said. “It makes you really stop and think about everything you do. The public scrutiny has helped me…and all of us think about everything that’s going on in our lives.’’

Video: Anchors discuss laptop shooting controversy

“A lot of what we were trying to make with her in the beginning is, ‘Don’t post anything on the web you don’t want the entire world to see,’’’ Amy said. “That was one of the reasons why we were upset with her in the first place. I think all this has driven the point home.’’

One TODAY viewer suggested Jordan could have donated the laptop to charity — punishing his daughter while supporting a positive cause.

Story: Executing your teen's laptop might feel good, but it's a bad idea, experts say

“It wouldn’t have made the point, but I wasn’t really thinking about charity at the moment,’’ Tommy said. “I was thinking about my daughter.’’

Another viewer wondered if Tommy’s actions might throw a kink into the teen's dating plans. Would potential suitors be too afraid to come over, given Hannah Marie's gun-toting pop?

Video: Daughter: Dad’s gun won’t scare guys off (on this page)

“It’s kind of weird, but I don’t think it will scare anybody off,’’ said Hannah Marie.

Added her dad, “If it works, it can save me a lot of trouble cleaning guns at home.’’

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