COLTON - The postponement of a discussion on whether to pass a resolution affirming the Second Amendment didn't mean the topic wasn't on the minds of those at Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

David Draper came from Upland to take on the issue during public comment.

"Let's face facts," Draper said. "If gun rights activists want a winner in this debate, they've already won. There's more guns now in America than ever before."

The council was scheduled to discuss the resolution "affirming and preserving the Second Amendment to the United States' Constitution and requesting the Congress take appropriate action."

Councilwoman Deirdre Bennett proposed the resolution, but the item was pulled from the agenda.

Bennett said because the resolution was pulled, she had not intended to speak about it. But she also said there has been misinformation about gun control and the Second Amendment, as opponents debate its meaning:

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Bennett said the focus of the gun debate has been on going after law-abiding citizens instead of criminals.

"Our discussion should be focused on those criminals and what do we do to ensure that people like that are either identified properly and given the help that they need, or what are we doing to try to curb the underlying cause that creates that criminal behavior," Bennett said.

The two-page resolution "wishes to urge the United States Congress to be mindful of the competing interests and rights afforded to citizens in the Bill of Rights as contained in the United States Constitution."

But Draper suggested that it would send a deeper meaning, as the nation deals with gun violence such as the Christopher Dorner rampage and the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

"Does that mean the Colton resolution silently accepts that such tragedy is collateral damage in the name of protecting this very popular and yet supposedly endangered right?" he said.

One resident said the Second Amendment protects citizens who want to protect themselves.

"We live in a society where there are criminals and thugs," John Anaya said. "They don't play by the rule. They don't abide by the rule. They have no rule." Councilman Frank Gonzales echoed the comments of one public speaker.

"I think a dog is better than a gun for safety purposes," he said. "But you know, I'm of the opinion, you know, sometimes, you know, it's a dangerous world and it's kinda hard not to defend yourself."

Bennett said the resolution was brought forward not to tell the community what to do, but to start a discussion on gun violence.

And the Constitution.

"If we give up one right, will free speech be the next right that they come after?" she said.

josh.dulaney@inlandnewspapers.com, 909-386-3894, @ColtonNow