Slate writer Farhad Manjoo pens a weepingly hysterical article referring to this Day-Glo orange Nerf "Barricade" toy as an "ultrarealistic weapon."
"The Barricade," Manjoo writes "is what a gun expert would call a 'semiautomatic...'"
It's also what a normal person would call a "toy."
But Manjoo's not normal.
"The Barricade is a pretty scary toy, and it’s not even close to being the scariest Nerf gun...Indeed, Nerf has become a lot more frightening since I was a kid," Mandoo types with quivering, sweaty fingers.
His hoplophobia (the irrational fear of guns, often rooted in psychosexual disorder) reaches a crescendo with "Over the past few weeks I’ve been playing with some of the new Nerf guns, and I’ve tied myself in knots thinking about whether ultrarealistic weapons are just harmless fun or whether they reveal something terribly wrong with modern American boyhood. I’ll admit it: As a father of a 1-year-old son, Nerf’s weaponry worries me."
He talks to a child psychiatrist, who assures him Nerf is not part of some massive military-industrial conspiracy to brainwash his children. But Mandoo doesn't sound convinced.
Criminologist Don Kates, lecturer at Stanford University, Oxford University, Saint Louis University School of Law, and the University of Melbourne, has concluded a fear of weapons, as expressd by Mandoo, is sometimes a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity (Guns, Murders, and the Constitution, Pacific Research Institute, 1990)