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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 13, 2007

President's Statement on the Report to the President on Issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy

      Report to the President on Issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy
      In Focus: School Safety

Shortly after the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech, I directed Secretary Michael Leavitt, Secretary Margaret Spellings, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to examine the broad and complex issues raised by this tragedy. I asked them to determine how the federal government could best help to support state and local efforts to ensure that our communities, including college campuses, are safe. They responded quickly, traveling to a dozen states to hear from governors, law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, educators, and other state and local officials.

They learned a great deal and today presented me with their key findings. I look forward to reviewing their recommendations in more detail, but a few points are immediately clear: Information sharing among the healthcare, law enforcement, and education communities must improve; those groups must better understand the federal laws related to information sharing; and accurate, complete information sharing between states and the federal government is essential in helping to keep guns out of the wrong hands and to punish those who break the law.

I thank Secretaries Leavitt and Spellings and Attorney General Gonzales for their fine work on this important report.

With the findings in this report in mind, I am closely following legislative efforts to strengthen the instant background check system. I look forward to working with Congress on this effort.

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