Oh dear. Slate's Farhood Manjoo played with a Nerf gun, found it very fun, and is now worried in that way that a Blue State Puritan parent worries that someone, somewhere, might be having a good time. It makes for an unintentionally hilarious read:
Aesthetically, the Barricade is meant to resemble a real revolver in the same way that a Real Housewife of New Jersey resembles a real housewife of New Jersey—the general outline is there, but designers have deliberately added disproportionate bulges and textures to heighten reality. The Barricade is what a gun expert would call a “semiautomatic,” or what a neophyte like me would call crazy fast. When you pull the trigger, a dart slips into the barrel, where two battery-powered spinning drums grab it and send it off toward your enemy. At the same time, the trigger turns the revolving chamber, readying the next dart for firing. I picked up a stopwatch and timed how long it took me to empty all 10 darts in the Barricade’s chamber—the kind of last-ditch maneuver I’d have to perform were I to find myself cornered in a no-win Nerf war. It was just 6 seconds. Maybe Dirty Harry could shoot faster, but I doubt it.
The Barricade is a pretty scary toy, and it’s not even close to being the scariest Nerf gun.
I know what Santa is bringing the Hemingway girls!