Argument: The second clause of the 2nd Amendment is broader than the first
- Oral arguments in DC vs. Heller. March 19th, 2008 - "JUSTICE GINSBURG: If you were thinking of "the people," what those words meant when the Second Amendment was adopted, it was males between the ages of what -- 17 and 45? People who were over 45 had no --they didn't serve in the militia.
- MR. GURA: Well, certainly, there were many people who were not eligible for militia duty, or not subject to militia service, who nevertheless were expected to, and oftentimes did, in fact, have guns.
- JUSTICE SCALIA: Which shows that maybe you're being unrealistic in thinking that the second clause is not broader than the first. It's not at all uncommon for a legislative provision or a constitutional provision to go further than is necessary for the principal purpose involved.
- The principal purpose here is the militia, but the -- but the second clause goes beyond the militia and says the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
- Now, you may say the kind of arms is colored by the militia. But it speaks of the right of the people. So why not acknowledge that it's -- it's broader than the first clause?"