RMGO: Don’t Count Black Kids in Gun Violence Statistics

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: 9NEWS’ Kyle Clark followed up yesterday evening with Rocky Mountain Gun Owners’ Kevin Lorusso, who stands by his suggestion to exclude young Black males from gun death statistics:


Apparently you can contact Mr. Lorusso for an apology on a case-by-case basis, but we’re guessing it will contain the word “snowflake.” In the absence of any official Republican condemnation, we’re left to conclude that Mr. Lorusso speaks for the gun lobby as a whole.

And they like the racist stuff he says.


UPDATE: Sara Loflin of liberal activist group ProgressNow Colorado condemns Rocky Mountain Gun Owners for their “racist and immoral devaluation of Black lives.”

“Black lives matter, and every single victim of gun violence matters,” said ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Sara Loflin. “The epidemic of gun violence has wreaked immeasurable harm to families, communities, and our nation. For the gun lobby to suggest ‘removing’ Black males under the age of nineteen from gun death statistics in order to understate the total impact of gun violence is a racist and immoral devaluation of Black lives, and an affront to the humanity of every person of color in America. The death of children caused by gun violence in America is an assault on our future, and must never be racially downplayed to achieve a desired statistic. It is deplorable that anyone would suggest otherwise.”

“What surfaced yesterday in the Colorado House State Affairs Committee is simply racism that still holds sway among far too many conservatives in America today,” said Loflin. “It’s a sad reality that Kevin Lorusso speaks for a substantial number of Republicans who believe BIPOC families are outsiders in their own communities. The racism on display in the committee hearing yesterday has no place in Colorado politics or in our legislature, and must be condemned without partisan distinction.”


Picture of a (white) kid holding a gun.

State lawmakers discussed two bills related to expanding rights for gun owners on Monday in the State, Civic, Military and Veterans Affairs committee. It didn’t take long for Republicans to lose their minds during the testimony, which included an absolutely disgusting comment from a representative of the militant gun rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

The conversation in the State, Civic, Military and Veterans Affairs committee centered around HB23-1044 “Second Amendment Preservation Act” (sponsored by Rep. Ken DeGraaf) and HB23-1050 “Protection of Business from Unlawful Entry” (sponsored by Rep. Ty Winter). HB-1044 is a ridiculous attempt to override even federal regulations on firearms. HB-1050 basically allows business owners to shoot whoever they want.

About 90 minutes into the testimony, as you can hear in the clip below, Democratic State Rep. Kyle Brown makes a point about gun violence being the leading cause of death for American children. Kevin Lorusso — who said he was testifying “on behalf of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and our more than 200,000 members and supporters across the state of Colorado” — then responds with a truly despicable claim:



REP. BROWN: According to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, firearms are the leading cause of death for American children. More than 5 deaths per 100,000 Americans between the ages of one and 19 were due to guns in 2020.

KEVIN LORUSSO: Uh, yeah, so if you remove Black males from that age group from that, it is not true. And that is a symptom of a different issue. The issue that is causing young Black males to be killed in their homes, on their streets, is a very different issue. [Pols emphasis]


Lorusso’s argument has something to do with his belief that Black kids are killed primarily with guns that were acquired illegally. We would assume that most of those guns were once manufactured legally, but that’s not the point here. A prominent gun rights group is arguing in public that national statistics about gun deaths among children shouldn’t count Black kids.


Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) is a self-described “no compromise” gun rights organization that is tied into the National Association of Gun Rights (NAGR); both organizations share many of the same goals as the National Rifle Association (NRA), though RMGO and NAGR are further to the right than the NRA. Here in Colorado, RMGO has a sordid history that has led them to be called “Colorado’s Taliban.” In 2019, RMGO was blasted by Republican Cole Wist over their efforts to recall then-Rep. Tom Sullivan, a Democrat who had defeated Wist the previous November (now a State Senator, Sullivan’s son Alex was among those killed in the 2012 Aurora Theater Shooting).

This was not the only questionable line of argument made by Republicans on Monday. Both Reps. Ken DeGraaf and Scott “There is No” Bottoms angrily questioned the motives of a handful of teenagers from different chapters of “Students Demand Action” who had come to the State Capitol to testify in opposition to the bills.

While RMGO may have extreme views on gun ownership, they also have plenty of supporters in the Colorado Republican Party. Both DeGraaf and Bottoms were formally endorsed by RMGO in 2022 and received contributions to their campaign coffers. In its pre-Primary endorsement, RMGO wrote that Bottoms “is passionate about defending the Second Amendment from its political enemies.”

38 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit! says:

    IOW, Black lives don't matter.

    Breathtaking to hear them just come out and say it.

    • kwtree says:

      We've seen some on this forum say essentially the same things as RMGO:

      The implications, posted on here at various times over the last few years, are that black people commit more crimes than whites  or others ( not true), that guns owned by black folks are probably illegally obtained and likely to be used in a crime ( probably not true, but unresearched), that police killings of unarmed black males are justified because  -___________, ( because all post-action police reports say that they are justified),  that the slogan "Black Lives Matter" is racist because "All Lives Matter", etc.

  2. davebarnes says:

    "200,000 members and supporters across the state"

    But, how many dues-paying members?

  3. unnamed says:

    Why is it that all the younger racist reich wingers who go before the public in some way, shape, or form look like a hipster in a suit?

  4. Early Worm says:

    The adoption, application, interpretation, and enforcement of the Second Amendment's right to bear arms has always been racist. I have no way of knowing whether Lorusso is "racist in his heart," but he clearly is racist in his action, statements, and policy objectives. This is what systemic racism looks like. 

  5. Washopingmylastpostwouldbemylast says:

    “Clearly young black males being killed with guns is a much different problem than young people being killed with guns.” — Some Shitbird testifying on behalf of Skin’s nonsense bill.

    This is the problem with allowing every bill to receive an open hearing.  It brings out the biggest wackos, supporting the worst legislation, providing them with a taxpayer funded platform and microphone with which to spew.

    I would like to see BS purveyors, like Lorrusso, be required to “show the numbers” — on supporters and deaths by age and race — or barred from ever being allowed to provide testimony again.

    • unnamed says:

      Or, just be barred from being able to provide testimony again.

    • Negev says:

      The CDC shows the numbers and they are chilling. Firearm homicide per 100,000 persons in 2020 by race:

      Asian/Pacific Islander                  1.0/100k

      American Indian/Alaskan Native 8.1/100k

      Hispanic(any race)                       4.5/100k

      White, non-Hispanic                    2.2/100k

      Black, non-Hispanic                    26.6/100k

       Young persons, males, and Black persons consistently have the highest firearm homicide rates, and these groups experienced the largest increases in 2020. These increases represent the widening of long-standing disparities in firearm homicide rates. For example, the firearm homicide rate among Black males aged 10–24 years was 20.6 times as high as the rate among White males of the same age in 2019, and this ratio increased to 21.6 in 2020.




      • bullshit! says:

        So fuck 'em, right? Isn't that right?

      • unnamed says:

        Your point?  Other than trying to make gun death statistics look "not as bad"?  


        • Negev says:

          Like I said, the gun death stats are chilling. But when Black firearm homicide rates are 20x higher, the problem is, in fact, much different.

          • Washopingmylastpostwouldbemylast says:

            Different in magnitude, OK yes.  But explain how then it’s different in the solution, please?  And, then while you’re at it, please also explain how the most significant part of the problem should be discounted or removed from the consideration of the problem, as Shitbird suggests?

            • Negev says:

              If you have 2 groups of 100 armed people and group 1 loses 2 and the other group loses 40(20x), it ain’t the guns. 

              The CDC report focuses a lot of attention on economic disparity as the root cause of violence, with minority areas disproportionately in poverty, which breeds crime. Drug wars, gang initiation, theft, turf, and even self defense in a predator rich environment results in a kill or be killed attitude.  Homicide in these areas is a by-product of crime, and apparently, runs rampant. 

              In less impoverished areas homicide is the crime. Domestic disputes, dick swinging, incel animosity, societal rejection. First world problems that the poverty stricken areas would laugh at as “white boy problems” that, statistically, occur much less often. 

              Solutions to each of these would, by any standard, need to be different to be effective. 

              I am glad to hear you admit that black violence is the most significant part of the problem. Generally we only see outrage from the left when a mass shooter kills predominantly white people, which equates to less than 1% of the problem. While I do not agree that the black gun homicide rate should be removed from the equation, the fact that you are now seeing that the real issue lies there is encouraging. If it took some dipshit to piss you off enough to check the numbers, so be it.


              • Washopingmylastpostwouldbemylast says:

                The problem is gun violence.  Parsing and causal apportionment doesn’t make it less so.  And, it certainly doesn’t provide any solutions, only excuses to continue avoiding solutions.

                And, none of this bullshit legislation, or any of the squirrel-crying shitbird spume in its support, seeks or even intends to provide progress, towards any solutions. “Focus” indeed.

                • Negev says:

                  I see… so how do you reconcile a 20:1 death ratio between black and white gun homicides with a 14% black population?

                  • Washopingmylastpostwouldbemylast says:

                    In my final reconciliation?

                    Far, far, far too many dead human beings from gun homicides.  

                    A consistently, significantly, and inordinately much higher rate in armed, and polite, America than almost any other high-income else in this world.  (So, how do you “reconcile” that ratio?  Young black men?)

                    • Negev says:

                      The NY model of saturating high crime neighborhoods with extra police and the "stop and frisk" policy reduced the NY homicide rate from 31/100k to 3.3/100k in 2013:

                       targeted stop-and-frisk policing makes a great deal of sense. When undertaken with frequency and carried out at hot spots of drug- and firearms-related crime, stop-and-frisk tactics can alter the perceptions of potential offenders by making apparent the risks of carrying drugs or guns in public. Once drugs and guns are driven off the streetscape, the risks of violent confrontation decrease and community destabilization driven by open and notorious criminality can be reversed. In contrast, a reactive strategy, which has police appear only when someone calls 911, encourages offenders to intimidate the community so no one calls for help.

                      Aggressive patrol at statistical hot spots of crime is the single crime control policy that has generated the most consistent evidence of its efficacy.

                      The results by race indicate a decline in homicide victimization rate from 58/100k for blacks and 8/100k for whites down to 15.9/100k and 1.55/100k. A 1.55/100k rate puts us somewhere between France and Belgium. With 400% more guns in circulation. 






                    • Washopingmylastpostwouldbemylast says:

                      Hate to point it out to you, but for those NYC policies to be effective, you’re also going to need pre-2013 NYC guns laws, to enable the authorities to remove those not-allowed weapons from the streets.

                      I can get behind those policing policies to enforce those kinds of laws. Can you?

                    • Washopingmylastpostwouldbemylast says:

                      That’s alright.  The crickets are really quite lovely this time of year.  I wasn’t expecting anything other.

                  • Washopingmylastpostwouldbemylast says:


                    • Negev says:

                      Sorry Washo for the delay. Yes. I can. Any Constitutional issues can be fought in court. NY SAFE act is not pre 2013 and has since seen legal challenges to the assault weapons ban and red flag orders, with a recent case ruling New York's red flag laws are unconstitutional, and with the new Bruen ruling may define what is and is not considered reasonable restriction. 

              • Duke Cox says:

                “…we only see outrage from the left when a mass shooter kills predominately white people.”

                That, Negev, is pure, unadulterated, bullshit. You have that backwards. 

                Are you going to next tell us that Marjorie Traitor Greene has the best interests of the minority communities at heart? The fundamental basis of ALL “conservative” policies is built on a foundation of racial inequality.

                You can defend violent, racist pigs all you want. It doesn’t change the truth. You can interpret statistics to support your fascist point of view, but it doesn’t mean your interpretation is correct. 

                You and your entire gunhead clan are tiresome and dishonest….and boring.

                • Negev says:

                  OK Duke, show me the last post on this site that focused outrage on a shooting that was not a white guy… I can wait…

                  • Duke Cox says:

                    Horse shit, Negev.

                    You want to make your point, make it. I am not engaging in your game.

                    You are trying to say that " leftists " only care about white people getting killed. Do I misunderstand your accusation?

                    That is so obviously untrue, I have no need to provide any grist for your mill.

                • Genghis says:

                  You can defend violent, racist pigs all you want. It doesn’t change the truth.

                  Ol' Neg's racism is wholly expected, but not nearly as uncommon as it should be in this day and age. Hell, right here on this site I've seen a self-identifying Dem claim more than once that the answer is to hire more cops, buy them more military weapons and gear, and have them stop and frisk every black person they see. Some of those searches won't hold up in court, but we'll have their guns and black-on-black crime will drop!

                  It's old-time paternalistic "white man's burden" racism. The underlying belief is, "Those silly coloreds are just to stupid, inherently violent and bereft of self-control to do anything worthwhile for themselves, so the master race must do it for them."

      • spaceman2021 says:

        jeez, it's almost like there are way too many guns out there.  Thank SCOTUS for butchering the Second Amendment, which was never intended to create an individual right to bear arms.  

  6. NotHopeful says:

    I wish I could say that I am surprised by this cruelly idiotic and bigoted statement, but I'm not.

    Republicans have made clear many times that they do not care about the lives of anyone who isn't white, wealthy, and "Christian." So it's not a shock to me that this fool thinks Black people's death by gunfire does not matter.

    But why isn't this overtly racist statement getting more publicity in Colorado's MSM?

  7. kwtree says:

    Your MAGA crowd is theparty of death. From COVID, from fentanyl, from gun “accidents”, domestic violence, unregulated polluters and industries, y’all just don’t care how many people die as long as your 1% masters keep on getting even richer. Sanctity of life? What a joke. 

    All you can do is throw out dstractors and dividers like RMGO’s racist contribution, hoping nobody will makeyou answer any tough questions. 

  8. spaceman2021 says:

    RMGO is full of racists?  Zero surprise.  The far right is white christofascism at its ugliest.  Time to divide the union into separate nations

  9. Chickenheed says:

    HB23-1044 “Second Amendment Preservation Act” (sponsored by Rep. Ken DeGraaf) is such a fucking pipe dream that a similar act can't even get past the Wyoming House.

    If the conservative utopia of Wyoming can't pass it. It's definitely going nowhere in Colorado.

    ‘Stop Red Flags Act’ dies in Wyoming House

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