As conservative talk radio host and legal expert Mark Levin often reminds his listeners, we are living in “a post-constitutional period” in which our founding document means less and less, thanks to the Left’s constant chipping away at the legal and civil rights protections bequeathed to us by our founders.
One of the most egregious assaults on the Bill of Rights in recent years has been the adoption of so-called “red flag laws” by (mostly) Democrat-run states — laws that deprive American citizens of their property and due process rights under the Second and Fifth Amendment.
Essentially, this is how a red flag law works: If someone, for some reason, is deemed a threat to themselves or others by often arbitrary methods, state courts are empowered to authorize police to confiscate that person’s firearms until such a time, at a later date, he or she is determined by the same court to not be a threat.
Mind you, the person is deprived of his or her property and due process rights without ever having committed an offense — a concept that is so very alien to our founding legal principles as a constitutional republic.
And while politicians have assured us that such laws won’t be abused or misapplied, one college student in Connecticut is living proof those assurances are garbage.
As Big League Politics reported last month:
22-year-old Connecticut resident Brandon Wagshol was arrested on Friday for posting a meme on social media that authorities claim indicated he showed an interest in committing a mass shooting.
Brandon Wagshol was just arraigned in Norwalk Superior Court. His bond was kept at $250,000, and the judge ruled he can only post it at the courthouse after a hearing. That way the prosecutor can put conditions on his release. @News12CT pic.twitter.com/RNl5UVOUZx
— Marissa Alter (@MarissaAlter) August 16, 2019
Police arrested him after receiving an anonymous tip regarding his meme, meaning that a) not only was he deprived of his freedom, property, and due process rights for never having even committed a crime, he was also denied another (former) founding legal principle: The right to face his accuser.
“What I understand is that he didn’t make any comments on Facebook, but there may have been other memes, as they call them, that he might have reposted,” said Darnell Crosland, who is representing Wagshol as his attorney.
Also, under Connecticut’s red flag law, Wagshol’s firearms that were legally bought were seized, according to News12. This, even though they were legal and registered to his father (though he had them in his possession at his home).
“I drove to Halstead New Hampshire from Norwalk CT in about 3 hours to acquire 30 round magazines and ammunition to circumvent what I viewed as an unconstitutional restriction on the Second Amendment,” Wagshol wrote in his witness statement.
“I purchased 4 30 round magazines and 120 rounds of 300 Blackout ammunition for firearm training. I plan on building an 80% rifle kit which I purchased online from Ceratec, in California. I plan on completing the 80% firearm at my friend Alex’s house in Easton. I did not have the intention of committing any mass shootings at all whatsoever,” he added.
Crosland said that his client was very clear with police: That “he thought he was doing everything correct.”
“He wasn’t trying to hide from the police and he gave them a full statement for about an hour,” the attorney added.
Wagshol, a student at Central Connecticut State University, was also banned from campus after being indefinitely suspended pending the outcome of his charges.
News12 noted that red flag laws are used often in Connecticut — 1,200 times thus far — while a Yale study claimed the law had prevented at least 79 suicides.
But no matter. State lawmakers couldn’t care less about the constitutional rights of their constituents.
Adding insult to injury, the judge in the case set Wagshol’s bond at $250,000 and won’t allow him to post it until his next hearing Sept. 6.