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.
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.’’
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.’’
“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.
“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.
But would he do it again?
"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.’’
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.’’
“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.
“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?
“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.’’