The Long Gun registry - A Question of Health and Safety

Letter to IAMAW members
Re:Gun Registry

Brothers and Sisters,

As you may or may not be aware a Private Members bill has been launched in the Federal Government to delete the gun registry. The registry was created in 1995 and launched in 1998. For the most part this registry was created as a resolve for the tragic deaths that occurred in 1989 at École Polytechnique in Montréal.

This has been and continues to be one of those issues that divide our membership. For the sake of argument let's agree to disagree on the role Government has in tracking and registering long guns in Canada.

What value does this argument have based against labour issues and the everyday issues facing our members like jobs and job security, the right to organize, pensions, healthcare and health and safety.

WAIT - HEALTH AND SAFETY
What about the health and safety of the officers that go to work everyday and face the violent acts of people with guns? Without the registry it would force these officers to walk into life-threatening situations completely blind.

What about the safety of Women living with violence, many of our members who have been threatened and intimidated into staying in horrible conditions because their partner has a gun(s) for hunting?

What about the fact that many of our members suffering from mental illness or depression own a rifle and could and have caused injury to themselves and others?

Having a registry does not stop people from using guns but it has provided an insight for officers when dealing with all of these variables in their workplace. It has prevented people known to be a danger from themselves or others from using these weapons. Even in saving one life we must put aside our individual differences for the greater good.

We need to support the workers in their workplaces to ensure their safety and the safety of others in our communities. Speak up speak out be heard. Prevention is not an exact science but is done in small steps and we must always continue working towards it for everyone’s benefit.

For more info see the CLC website www.canadianlabour.ca or visit the NDP website at www.ndp.ca

Heather Kelley
Coordinator for Women's Issues & Human Rights