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Statement of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales on Report to the President on Issues Raised By the Virginia Tech Tragedy

WASHINGTON- Today, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, and Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings reported to the President about the issues raised by the Virginia Tech tragedy. The Report to the President on Issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy was also released publicly today, and is attached. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales issued the following statement:

"The tragedy on the campus of Virginia Tech was deeply unsettling to me and millions of Americans. At the direction of President Bush, I along with Secretaries Leavitt and Spellings, traveled to communities across the country to lead a national dialogue and receive input from government and community leaders who have been grappling with the difficult balances to be struck between public safety, mental health policy, and individual liberty and privacy.

"We know that the federal government should not attempt to answer all the questions raised by this event, but does have a role to play in assisting the states in their efforts to protect the public. The Department of Justice will work with the states to ensure that federal firearms laws are effective in keeping guns out of the wrong hands, by encouraging states to submit appropriate information to the National Instant Background Check System.

"We’ve already taken steps to implement the recommendations made today to the President, and will continue to look for ways to keep our communities, including schools and college campuses, safe."