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James A. D'Cruz: NRA Poster Boy for Gun-Toting Teens

WASHINGTON --- Violent images and messages fill the Facebook pages of the 18-year-old Texan, who has brought a lawsuit, joined by the National Rifle Association, to give 18-20 year-olds a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public, according to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

“Last week we pointed out that it was dangerous and reckless for the NRA to claim that teenagers should be allowed to carry loaded semiautomatic weapons on our streets and playgrounds. After seeing the angry, violent Facebook postings of the teen who the NRA wants to arm with concealed weapons, it is clear how wrongheaded its lawsuit is,” said Brady Center President Paul Helmke.

The NRA and James A. D’Cruz’, of Lubbock, Texas, are the plaintiffs in the suit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas claiming that the Second Amendment requires that states allow teens and young persons ages 18-20 to carry loaded firearms in public. They seek to overturn a Texas law that generally prohibits the carrying of concealed weapons by people under age 21.

Texas is one of 36 states that restricts the possession or carrying of firearms by teens and young persons ages 18-20. The Texas Constitution specifically allows the regulation of public gun carrying, stating that the “Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.”

D’Cruz’s Facebook page pictures him in a black suit and hat reminiscent of John Dillinger, posing with legs spread apart, holding upright in his hand what appears to be a machine gun or assault weapon. Many of his postings over the past year reflect his fascination with gangsters and outlaws, often quoting them, and include violent, threatening messages, such as these:

"Death is but a doorway", October 6 at 5:28pm,

"the match is lit and it will burn all of us now", September 25 at 12:06pm

"in this field of hundreds begging for their lives, we shall spare none," August 9 at 11:38am

 After hunting men, nothing can compare"-Shooter, December 26, 2009 at 5:47pm

"There is no redemption, There is no forgiveness. I will stare into your eyes as I pull the trigger and laugh as you hit the ground with your last, pathetic breath."  April 1

In noting its opposition to the NRA’s lawsuit, the Brady Center has cited studies showing that young persons under 21 often lack the same ability as adults to “govern impulsivity, judgment, planning for the future, and foresight of consequences.” People aged 18-20 fall within the age range of offenders with the highest rates of homicide and criminal gun possession.

“Mr. D’Cruz’s Facebook postings underscore the research findings highlighting the fragility and unpredictability of young people. If we care at all for the safety and security of Americans, making it easier and legal for such youths to carry lethal weapons is not a sensible thing to do,” said Helmke. “If this is the NRA’s poster boy for concealed carry, then the bosses have some explaining to do.”  


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