Chief Kessler / YouTube
Gilberton, Penn., Police Chief Mark Kessler in a YouTube video published on July 15, 2013.
A Pennsylvania police chief who sprays profanity, insults and ammunition in pro-gun YouTube videos said Wednesday he has no regrets — even though he expects to lose his job.
"Did I use colorful language? Absolutely! Did I offend and hurt people's feelings? I'm sure I did. But it's protected speech under the First Amendment," said Chief Mark Kessler, who heads the one-person police squad in a borough of 840 people.
"Am I a delusional lunatic? Absolutely not. The video was designed to get people’s attention."
More than 40,000 people have viewed two videos Kessler recently posted on YouTube under the imprimatur of his Constitutional Security Force, which he says is an association designed to defend constitutional rights but is not a militia.
In the first video, Kessler dropped four-letter words left and right as he called Secretary of State John Kerry a "traitor" for saying the U.N. would sign an arms control treaty. Then he opened fire with what appears to be an automatic weapon.
"Come and take it!" he screamed.
In a followup video, Kessler delivered an apology for the earlier profanity, then returned to the camera to say his remorse was a put-on before firing several automatic weapons and mocking "libtards."
Gun-control advocates were appalled by the frenzied display.
"This is completely out of the mainstream," said Shira Goodman, executive director of CeasefirePA. "That is not a man who makes me feel safe."
She said her organization was already aware of Kessler because he had convinced the Gilberton borough council to adopt a resolution "nullifying all federal, state or local acts in violation of the Second Amendment."
The mayor of Gilberton, Mary Lou Hannon, said that since Kessler was acting as a private citizen and was not in uniform, she doesn't see a reason to discipline him.
"I felt like I was watching an R-rated movie," she said of the videos. "As long as he wasn't on borough time, I'm all for freedom of speech. Whatever he said, that's on him. Who am I to judge?"
Hannon said the borough had received several threats since the videos went viral and decided to postpone its regular monthly meeting for a week so it could meet with Kessler before making any decisions.
"I’ll probably be out of a job by the time I get home," Kessler, who was vacationing in Texas, told NBC News in a phone interview.
He's been the chief, an appointed position, since 2001 and makes $24,000 a year. He used to have two officers working for him but is now the borough's sole cop because of budget cuts.
Calling himself a "strict Second Amendment advocate," Kessler said he made the videos because he feels gun rights are under attack. On his Facebook page, he called for a rally to protest "a tyrannical anti constitution government."
"It doesn't make me an extremist, because I love my country," he said.
First published July 24 2013, 4:18 PM