Congressional Candidate: First Amendment Has Limits, Second Amendment Should Too


Patrick Ryan (D) is a New York Congressional candidate who believes the First Amendment has limits and therefore the Second Amendment must be limited as well.

During a May 28, 2018, CNN interview, Ryan said, “I stand up for the students, parents, teachers, who have come to me over the course of this campaign … and I cannot tell you the number of times that I’ve heard from them, ‘This feels wrong, my kids going to school feeling unsafe.'”

He added, “We know the policy solutions are on this,” then suggested all of our rights are limited, including the Second Amendment.

Ryan said, “The way I think about this is, with all the rights we have in our constitution come responsibilities. You know you can’t stand up in a crowded theater and scream ‘fire.’ We have to have reasonable limitations for public safety.” He then referenced his military service and said, “The line to me is, the weapons I carried in combat for 27 months should not be on our streets.”

A few points need to be made. First, Ryan’s answer implies an AR-15 is a weapon of war. It is not. His statement fails to differentiate between an AR-15, which is a semiautomatic rifle, and an M4 or M16, both of which are fully automatic weapons used in warfare.

Second, Ryan talks about the trepidation students, parents, and teachers feel at school and even goes so far as to say, “We know the policy solutions are on this,” yet he never mentions the danger of gun-free zones. Such zones are a magnet for killers who want to be sure their victims cannot shoot back.

A ban on “assault weapons” would do nothing to end mass shootings in general or school shootings in particular. The May 18 shooting at Santa Fe High School resulted in the deaths of ten innocents and it was carried out with a revolver and a shotgun.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.