Pa. police chief stirs furor over abrasive videos

GILBERTON, Pa. (AP) — The police chief of a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal country who is an outspoken gun-rights advocate and is trying to organize a nongovernment armed group has stirred up a furor after he posted videos of himself in confrontational, profanity-laced tirades punctuated by him firing off automatic weapons.

At one point, he fires a weapon and screams, “come and get it!” after he criticizes Secretary of State John Kerry for signing a United Nations treaty that requires ratifying countries to begin controlling arms brokers, but does not control the domestic use of weapons in any country.

The chief, Mark Kessler, is the one-man police force of tiny Gilberton Borough, population approximately 800. He told the Standard-Speaker newspaper of nearby Hazleton that he is within his constitutional rights in the videos and he obeys the constitution as a police chief.

“Some people are just trying to make a mountain out of a molehill,” he told the newspaper Tuesday from Texas where he was vacationing.

In an interview with WNEP-TV in northeastern Pennsylvania, he said he made the videos to draw attention to what he views as the erosion of constitutional rights of free speech and to bear arms.

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