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Jul 25 2013

This is Chief Mark Kessler. He’s an idiot.

Behold the man posturing and asserting his manliness by firing guns on camera, as if that is a talent or an accomplishment. You will not be able to watch this video without thinking “What an ass…”

He’s the police chief of some tiny little town in Eastern Pennsylvania, a place a fifth the size of Morris, Minnesota. I think he might be overcompensating a little bit with the gun-waving.

But besides being an arrogant idiot, he’s a real danger — this is not the kind of tinpot tyrant you want armed and eager to open fire. But at least it leads to a little amusement.

He went to a bar, got involved in a bar fight, and drew a gun. Already you’re thinking this man has crossed the line and ought to be in jail. But here’s the funny part:

He shot himself in the hand.

Mark Kessler is what you get when you give Barney Fife an M-16. Which is kind of a metaphor for America, if you think about it.

81 comments

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  1. 1
    John Morales

    Heh.

    From the link:

    Troopers are investigating an incident where Mark Kessler, who was off-duty at the time, became involved in an altercation already under way among patrons inside a crowded 2nd Street Pub about midnight when his pistol discharged, shooting him in the hand.

    My emphasis.

    Yeah, it was that pesky gun that did the shooting.

    (Naughty, naughty gun, discharging and shooting the nice man in the hand!)

  2. 2
    Reginald Selkirk

    Wow, what a proficient display of professionalism.

  3. 3
    zenlike

    Yeah, it was that pesky gun that did the shooting.

    So, guns don’t kill people, except when you are a fucking irresponsible idiot, then it totally is the fault of the gun if you shoot yourself?

  4. 4
    brive1987

    Umm, I find it hard to believe these weapons are legal (they are fully automatic and the pistol must have been modified). Assuming they are somehow confiscated contraband or “official issue” – surely this is use and behaviour that crosses some sort of professional line? How the hell can the States claim any form of international moral authority if these are acceptable values for law enforcers.

  5. 5
    Reginald Selkirk

    Interesting, but I did notice that linked news story is two years old.

  6. 6
    Reginald Selkirk

    The bar fight discharge incident is two years old, but the profanity and bullet-riddled videos are current.
    Police chief in Schuylkill County stirs up controversy with videos
    July 25, 2013

  7. 7
    Reginald Selkirk

    link

    The weapons in the video are legal weapons and belong to the police department after he purchased them with his own money and donated them to the Gilberton Police Department in a transaction approved by the borough council, Hannon said.

  8. 8
    Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here

    Ok, that’s one scary man. Calling people ‘liberturds’ while discharging fully-automatic weapons, I’m just glad he isn’t my police chief.

    Interestingly, he has his own website: http://www.chiefkessler.com/

    It’s as scary as the video.

  9. 9
    AussieMike

    Wow! And all it would take to stop the carnage those weapons can cause is for a teacher to own one too. Sooooo simple.

  10. 10
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Barney Fife was a klutz and a goof, but not a proud and unrepentant douchebag.

  11. 11
    peptron

    I never understood how some people see real guns as toys. My idea is that if you want to look intimidating, use a chainsaw instead of a gun. It’s less dangerous but it sure is more flashy. For the low tech, a blood-soaked butcher knife would work too.

  12. 12
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    If you look on his website the only anti-american organization he has is the SPLC

    Seriously.

    I have a feeling that the Chief may have some strong pride in something about himself…

    Possibly his whiteness.

  13. 13
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Oh jeez. He’s got a bunch of InfoWars videos on there too.

    Not shocking.

  14. 14
    Rip Steakface

    (they are fully automatic and the pistol must have been modified).

    The pistol might not have been extensively modified. The giant drum magazine is obviously not standard, but you can probably find and attach a carrying strap and a stock to a pistol without too much trouble, especially with the resources that any police department has. Looking at it, that gun is probably a Glock. The Glock 18 can fire fully automatic without any modification, since it was designed as a machine pistol to be used by a counter-terrorism unit.

    Why a police chief in some po-dunk Pennsylvania town that manages to be smaller than frakking Morris needs a machine pistol designed to be used in a counter-terrorism situation is beyond me.

  15. 15
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Why a police chief in some po-dunk Pennsylvania town that manages to be smaller than frakking Morris needs a machine pistol designed to be used in a counter-terrorism situation is beyond me.

    Because these are the real geeks. They fetishise guns and their definition of “freedom” and Patriotism to a point that goes far further than any Trekkie or Gamer or whatever.

    They’re so down the rabbit hole on their big boy play time war games they think it’s actually real.

    Unfortunately because of their chosen geekout, they’re also dangerous as fuck.

  16. 16
    Sili

    Poor chief.

    If only he’d been armed, he might not have been shot like this.

    Clearly the answer is MOAR GUNZZZ!

  17. 17
    Fleegman

    From his site:

    YOU HAVE THE GOD GIVEN RIGHT, YOUR 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS! ( PERIOD)
    DO YOU GET IT

    Wait… God passed the 2nd Amendment?

    Also, I wish he’d spend less effort on the parenthetical punctuation, and more on things like actual question marks at the end of sentences.

    This is a very scary individual.

  18. 18
    borax

    I don’t fucking mind if fucking people drop fucking f-fucking bombs when they are fucking talking. I’m more fucking scared when they fucking have to fucking shoot fucking guns to make some fucking point.

  19. 19
    kylescott

    I am disappointed in all the negative feedback that the Chief seems to be garnering here. I would have expected more compassion for a man who has clearly had a devastating injury resulting in the loss of most, if not all, of his penis.

  20. 20
    Sili

    I would have expected more compassion for a man who has clearly had a devastating injury resulting in the loss of most, if not all, of his penis.

    It was his girlfriend that was hit, not his cock.

  21. 21
    Eamon Knight

    Slacktivist posted on this guy yesterday. Several of Kessler’s fans showed up in comments to defend him (read: post semi-coherent rants about “libtards”, and otherwise put on an amusing/alarming display of paranoid-delusion-on-parade). They’re…..*interesting* people.

  22. 22
    Eamon Knight

    @19&20 win the thread, jointly.

  23. 23
    Fleegman

    Ok, he actually says this on his site:

    …it is our GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS one not granted by any government

    Do you think this guys head would explode if you told him that his god was imaginary? I would try it, but I fear he would simply shoot me in the face.

  24. 24
    esmith4102

    This A-hole is the reason why liberals need to arm themselves. Take advantage of the concealed gun carry laws so you can protect yourselves against these dangerous thugs – as a liberal, I did!

  25. 25
    Dunc

    So, we have a serving police officer ranting about the tyranny of government… Nope, no cognitive dissonance there.

  26. 26
    jnorris

    I wonder if the chief used department resources (the camera, guns, ammo, firing range) to make his stupid political video. And if so, did the town mayor or manager allow him to use public property for obvious reelection videos?

  27. 27
    chigau (違う)

    Is there some reason he is ‘aiming’ his fully automatic weapons by holding them really close to his face?
    Do you really need to aim those things? Especially when you’re shooting at gravel ?
    Or does it look cooler?

  28. 28
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @John Morales #1

    From the link:

    Troopers are investigating an incident where Mark Kessler, who was off-duty at the time, became involved in an altercation already under way among patrons inside a crowded 2nd Street Pub about midnight when his pistol discharged, shooting him in the hand.

    My emphasis.

    Yeah, it was that pesky gun that did the shooting.

    Does that mean guns do kill people?

  29. 29
    Gregory Greenwood

    The second I see a firearm with one of those large capacity drum magazines fitted to it, I think of the various hideous mass shootings that have been carried out with exactly those types of weapons. Seeing any gun-fetishist waving such a weapon around is distrubing, but when the gun obsessed arsehat in question is a police officer – the very people charged with preventing those types of crimes – I find myself very glad indeed that I live in a country with more rational gun laws.

    As scary as the notion of this worst possible example of a law enforcement officer is – a deeply inadequate person who makes up for their myriad deficiencies of character with an arsenal of guns is dangerous indeed – I am still very tickled by the fact that this posturing would-be Rambo managed to blow a hole in his own hand. He is a walking, ranting advertisement for tighter gun controls if ever I saw one.

  30. 30
    timgueguen

    Reading the article Reginald linked to it sounds like he’s a hired sheriff, not an elected one, as it says he’s had a 14 year contract with the town.

    The council sound like a bunch of idiots as well. Why the hell would the police force of a town of 800, with apparently only one employee, Kessler, need 3 automatic weapons? Or one, for that matter? Not to mention that the shortened barrel AK in the clip probably is very inaccurate,, and Kessler probably doesn’t have the training, or range time, to use the Glock 18 effectively. Not that I can see any use for a Glock 18 for a small town sheriff.

  31. 31
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    On a more serious note, his “argument” appears to consist of repeating the word he said which upset people, calling those who were upset “libtards” and “pussies”, telling them to “man the fuck up”, and then shooting various weapons into a presumably empty piece of land (the latter part constitutes an implied threat, surely?).

    This guy’s a fucking Chief of police?!

  32. 32
    John Pieret

    as if that is a talent or an accomplishment

    As someone who lettered in college in target shooting, properly handling firearms for responsible sporting purposes can be a talent and an accomplishment.

    On the other hand, if we outlaw morons, only guns will have morons … or something like that …

  33. 33
    chigau (違う)

    … only guns will have morons …
    That’s it!!!
    Guns are actually demons and they possess the gun-thumpers!
    They can’t help themselves!

  34. 34
    umkomasia

    I live and work in Alabama but was born and raised in Pennsylvania. People sometimes asked me if that move involved a lot of culture shock. NO!

  35. 35
    timgueguen

    I should add that as far as automatic weapons go, yes, in most cases you do actually want to aim them carefully, just like you would with any other firearm.

  36. 36
    rr

    If only he’d been armed, he might not have been shot like this.

    If only he had a second pistol in his other hand he could have shot the offending pistol before it discharged. Or at least threatened it with deadly force, making it think twice about discharging.

  37. 37
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @chigau

    gun-thumpers!

    What did I do to deserve getting lumped in with Chief Nobhead up there^? :(

  38. 38
    ChasCPeterson

    Barney Fife only had one bullet, and Andy made him keep it in his shirt pocket.

    (btw, Schuylkill Co. PA is coal-mining country marking essentially the northern terminus of the Appalachian Mtns. Make of that what you will.)

  39. 39
    Louis

    Speaking as a member of a dictatorial and oppressive regime that you good and true Americans freed yourself from:

    Fuck me this guy’s clearly a deluded arsehole.

    Louis

  40. 40
    David Marjanović

    Kessler must be fired.

    My emphasis.

    Guns don’t kill people. Guns shoot people in the hand.

    Do you think this guys head would explode if you told him that his god was imaginary? I would try it, but I fear he would simply shoot me in the face.

    Well, he’d shoot somebody in the face…

    This A-hole is the reason why liberals need to arm themselves. Take advantage of the concealed gun carry laws so you can protect yourselves against these dangerous thugs – as a liberal, I did!

    What makes you moron believe you’ll draw faster? Invest in a bulletproof vest if you can’t afford to move.

    Or does it look cooler?

    Was this perhaps a rhetorical question? :-)

    I live and work in Alabama but was born and raised in Pennsylvania. People sometimes asked me if that move involved a lot of culture shock. NO!

    Huh. I thought everybody knew the “joke” about Pennsyltucky: “Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west, and Alabama in between.”

  41. 41
    Muz

    I’m trying to look on the bright side and hoping that ultimately this is a man doing what he can to improve voter turnout in the next local election.

  42. 42
    John Pieret

    umkomasia @ 34:

    Old joke: Pennsylvania consists of Philadelphia at one end and Pittsburgh at the other and Alabama in between.

  43. 43
    janiceclanfield

    So I guess it leaves it to me to say, “What an asshole”.

  44. 44
    ChasCPeterson

    well, and Birmingham AL (say ‘BUMinhayem) is or used to be Pittsburgh South, so that leaves just Philly.

  45. 45
    kyoseki

    Really does give you the warm fuzzies to know that just about every piece of firearms legislation out there, particularly at the state level, exempts current & retired law enforcement, regardless of whether or not they use the weapon in the line of duty.

  46. 46
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    This must be one of those mythical cases of a firearm being used to stop someone dangerous.

  47. 47
    bryanfeir

    Eamon Knight @21:
    Actually, I think there’s only one real ‘fan’ posting there… he’s just very loud and prolific, as well as having the usual sense of that sort of person in that he must be right, therefore everybody else is wrong, and he just needs to find out how to declare them wrong.

  48. 48
    Eamon Knight

    There’s been three by my count, though the others seem to have only a single comment each (though one of them called me a “democrat liberal fascist racist”, which is an impressive example of attempting to insult by stringing together random words). But yeah: that one guy “Rowdy”. Anyone who defends Joe Arpaio….

  49. 49
    anchor

    Its always baffles that assholes like this think to impress anyone with their blam-blam exhibitions. I bet that cretin produces plenty extra saliva to drool with whenever it presses the trigger.

    There is a defect in the brain behind that kind of behavior.

    What’s scary is that people think this was police chief material. Or maybe it just shot its way to that position.

  50. 50
    Useless

    Oooooh, he certainly is manly. But he also hurt my wussy feelings. I’d like to get some automatic weapons so I can also be manly.

  51. 51
    Area Man

    “The bar fight discharge incident is two years old, but the profanity and bullet-riddled videos are current.”

    That actually makes it worse. He made these stupid videos after demonstrating to the world that he’s too irresponsible to carry a gun in public.

    It’s nice to see that his hand healed up so well. Too bad about his brain.

  52. 52
    maxdevlin

    Gilberton is one county north of me, about an hours drive into coal country. They cling to their guns and their Bibles, and will blame Obama no matter how things turn out for the coal industry, which already abandoned them half a century ago.

    So, yeah, it’s funny as hell when an assh*le like this guy shoots himself. How the hell do you shoot yourself in our own hand?

  53. 53
    gussnarp

    How has this guy not been fired? Who on earth tolerates this kind of behavior from a law enforcement officer, particular the head law enforcement officer? And it seems he has a pattern of irresponsible behavior with firearms. I would be terrified to live there. How could I expect equal treatment under the law as a liberal and an atheist from a police department whose head produces videos like this? How could I even feel safe expressing myself when this guy is still heading the police department two years after shooting himself in a bar fight where no one else had a weapon and screaming obscenities about “libtards” before firing off a few hundred rounds of ammo?

  54. 54
    gussnarp

    I noticed in the other story that it says the police department owns the weapons. So even if you think he has the right to make videos expressing his political opinion (questionable as an employee and representative of the government), he certainly has no right to use city property to make his personal political videos.

  55. 55
    gussnarp

    Seriously, I have to repeat myself. If I lived there I would be outright terrified. Not kidding at all. Terrified and doing everything in my power to get him fired.

  56. 56
    Aaron Pound - LG

    There is substantial irony in a person who is so obviously still a juvenile telling others to “man up”.

  57. 57
    feralboy12

    Are we sure he shot himself? Maybe it’s just a touch of stigmata.

  58. 58
    Chil lin

    Call Chief Kessler’s cell phone number 570-205-0585
    and the mayor here and let her know what you think:
    Gilberton Borough Office–(570) 874-4790

  59. 59
    evilDoug

    he certainly has no right to use city property to make his personal political videos.

    According to an article someone linked to up-thread, he actually bought the guns with his own money and donated them. How nice. That way he gets to play with weapons that would (I believe) be illegal for him to possess personally. The fucker is too stupid to be allowed to own a Nerf gun.

    For a manly man, he surely done got scrawny arms!

  60. 60
  61. 61
    gijoel

    If he had shot himself in the foot it could have been ruled attempted suicide.

  62. 62
    kyoseki

    evilDoug

    According to an article someone linked to up-thread, he actually bought the guns with his own money and donated them. How nice. That way he gets to play with weapons that would (I believe) be illegal for him to possess personally.

    Not exactly, you need a title 2 (National Firearms Act) license in order to possess machine guns (at least in Pennsylvania, some states have banned possession of machine guns outright).

    In order to get a title 2 license you need the signature of the local chief of police.

    So that’s handy, isn’t it?

    Not sure why he bought & donated them, probably a tax dodge since machine guns are generally very expensive (north of 10 grand each due to limited availability).

  63. 63
    opposablethumbs

    This must be one of those mythical cases of a firearm being used to stop someone dangerous.

    <3 @ Azkyroth

  64. 64
    Allan Frost

    Does this jackass actually grab his crotch after firing off the first gun? Nope. Nothing Freudian going on there.

  65. 65
    loopyj

    I have a rule that I wish more women (and men) would adopt, and perhaps it might change some hearts and minds, or even just behaviour (which is as good as any a place to start): If a man uses the term ‘cocksucker’ as an insult, he doesn’t get his cock sucked.

  66. 66
    evilDoug

    … mayor here and let her know what you think

    I totally guessing here, but it seems to me likely that the town has to carry some sort of insurance against wrongful acts by its agents. Assuming that it does, it would be interesting to send the insurance underwriter a link or two. If might be claimed that the guy has been a cop there for 14 years without causing major problems, but while I’m in a guessing mood I would also guess that his conduct has become more outrageous in recent years, what with Obama fixin’ to take away his guns an’ all.

    What would the applicable law have to say about personal liability of the mayor and council members in the event of this guy doing something not covered by insurance?

  67. 67
    Menyambal

    I like how conservatives flip-flop. Sometime the police are jackbooted thugs taking away your freedoms, sometimes police are automatically to be trusted despite insane behavior.

    Freudian: A guy I worked with many years ago told me he used to own a lot of guns. He said he was cleaning one one night, and realized he was stroking it exactly as if he were masturbating. He said he realized that wasn’t a coincidence, and he got rid of all the guns.

  68. 68
    Rutee Katreya

    Barney Fife was never in charge. He was only permitted to carry a single bullet – and his right to that was always revoked, after he did any jackassery of any sort with his gun. That just makes the comparison somewhat more terrifying.

  69. 69
    may2788

    I think what he’s doing can be aptly described as “Yosemite Sam-ing.”

  70. 70
    observer

    This moron and his mayor were both sued by a member of the town council in 2011 for civil rights violations. The councilman was pissed with the police chief for his failure to enforce the laws against the kids who were riding their ATVs on his property, so he left a profanity laced complaint on the mayor’s voicemail. The chief arrested the councilman, and took him to the local prison where he was strip searched and left to cool for 12 hours. The councilman was then released without charges.

    The city settled the suit for 15,000 dollars plus court costs

    This man thinks he’s a crusader agsinst the jack-booted thug, when in fact he’s the chief thug.

  71. 71
    timgueguen

    And ya wanna bet that if the town gets into financial trouble over these shenanigans, or any other issue, they’ll immediately be on the phone to the state government or the feds looking for some sort of handout.

  72. 72
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    So did anyone else think “I am Uzimandeus, King of Kings. Look on my works ye mighty and despair!” While they were watching this?

  73. 73
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    …so he left a profanity laced complaint on the mayor’s voicemail. The chief arrested the councilman, and took him to the local prison where he was strip searched and left to cool for 12 hours.

    Ah, so the gun toting idiot is an oblivious hypocritical gun toting idiot. I’m shocked, shocked I say!

    Oh wait, my mistake. That’s just the electric eel in my pants.

  74. 74
    velociraptor

    FossilFishy @ 72

  75. 75
    bassmanpete

    I used to think that the bigoted, dumb-ass, small town sheriff portrayed in many US movies was an exaggeration; now I see it was an understatement!

  76. 76
    marko

    If only he’d been armed, he might not have been shot like this.

    I think it would be preferable that he took a more even handed approach.

    I’ll get my coat.

  77. 77
    John Morales

    Just thinking about the cost of ammo, isn’t that specimen basically punctuating his speech by doing the equivalent of tearing up dollar bills?

    (Or is it cheap as dirt over there?)

  78. 78
    gussnarp

    @observer
    re #70

    That is exactly the kind of thing I would be terrified of if I lived there. How could I, a card carrying liberal and supporter of gun control, expect equal treatment under the law? How could I feel safe from being shot by the chief of police and accused of assaulting an officer to cover it up? How would I know, when someone vandalized my home and stole my Obama yard sign, that it wasn’t the chief of police himself?

    In short, I guess I would just begin to feel what it is like to be black in America if he was my police chief.

    @bassmanpete – Yeah, I thought of that, too. I at least thought they were all on the south, and had mostly been run out of office by the Justice Department by now.

  79. 79
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Yup, he’s acharmer alright. /sarcasrm

    Is it just me or does Kessler look like he’s drunk in that clip?

    Scary too is what I learnt from here :

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/07/24/pa-police-chief-loves-guns-profanity-birtherism-alex-jones-militias-anti-semitic-rock-music-and-serving-on-the-board-of-education/

    Did I mention that in addition to serving as Gilberton’s police chief, Kessler is also a member of the North Schuylkill School District’s board of education? Isn’t it lovely that the education of Schuylkill County’s children is being overseen by a man with such a shaky grasp of punctuation, history, law and reality?

    “Lovely” may not be quite the right word for it.

  80. 80
    Baldr Odinson

    This dangerous idiot is worse than you know. He is a founder and recruiter for a paramilitary militia (which is illegal in PA) and falsely-arrested and strip-searched a borough councilman because he didn’t like the councilman’s complaints about noisy neighbors (which resulted in a successful lawsuit). See here: http://newtrajectory.blogspot.com/2013/07/police-chief-mark-kessler-dangerous.html

  81. 81
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Hey, good news people! This video got him suspended!

    Unfortunately, not fired, and the suspension is not nearly long enough. But it’s something!

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