Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

July 24, 2013

Pa. police chief's profanity-laced gun rights videos draw controversy


CNHI News Service

GILBERTON, Pa. — A police chief in a small Pennsylvania town has stirred up a controversy after he posted a series of profanity-laced videos to YouTube in which he berates those who would restrict gun rights and fires off automatic weapons of his own.

In one of the videos, Gilberton Police Chief Mark Kessler targets liberals, saying, "I don’t give a f--- what you say. You can all go f--- yourselves." Another video appears to be a tongue-in-cheek "apology" for a previous video, which Salon.com reports was critical of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations, that Kessler has since deleted.

In the faux apology, Kessler tells the camera, "For all you people out there who cried and cried about (how) I used profanity, f--- you." He then fires several rounds from an automatic weapon at no particular target, and then returns and fires two more automatic weapons.

The mayor of Gilberton Borough, a tiny coal country town about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia, said she had no plans to discipline Kessler after the videos surfaced.

"It would be terribly inappropriate to comment upon or restrict what our employees do in their free time," Mayor Mary Lou Hannon wrote in a statement, according to the Standard Speaker newspaper in Hazelton, Pa.

Kessler is the head of an armed group called the Constitutional Security Force, whose mission statement says it will "defend our Constitution (and) our country from tyranny only if needed."

He told the Standard Speaker that he didn't understand why his videos were controversial.

"Did I use some vulgar language? Absolutely. Is it my right to do that? Absolutely. It's the First Amendment. Did I fire off a gun? Absolutely. Was I shooting at anyone? I was not. That's my right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms," he told the paper. "Some people are just trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, as far as I'm concerned."

Kessler, who is also on the North Schuylkill school board, has successfully lobbied for gun right protections in his hometown. After the Sandy Hook shooting last year led to renewed pushes for gun control, Kessler urged the borough council to adopt a resolution nullifying any federal or state laws that restricted firearm usage, "past, present or future," Salon reports.

The unedited version of Kessler's apology video is available on YouTube. (WARNING: Graphic language.)