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Council on Foreign Relations State and Local Officials Bulletin
January 2013

January 2013

U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons

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President Obama high fives children who wrote him letters urging for stricter gun control legislation after the Newtown shooting.(Courtesy Reuters)


The killing of twenty schoolchildren in Newtown, Ct. last December has reignited the national debate over gun control and prompted the Obama administration to call for limitations on the sale of military-style assault weapons. This CFR Backgrounder looks at other democracies that have experienced similar traumatic shooting incidents and the significant steps they have taken to regulate gun ownership and restrict the availability of assault weapons.

To learn more, listen to CFR's Richard Falkenrath on the linkages between semiautomatic firearms and high-fatality shootings.


CFR New Fellowship Opportunities

The Council on Foreign Relations' (CFR) Fellowship Program offers unique opportunities for mid-career professionals interested in pursuing proposed research and broadening their perspectives on international issues affecting the priorities and agendas of state and local governments. Click here to learn more about the program, fellowship opportunities, and application process.

Reforming U.S. Drone Strike Policies

In this new Council Special Report, CFR's Micah Zenko describes the potentially serious consequences, both at home and abroad, of the U.S. drone program. Wary of how drones could be used in the future by both our allies and our adversaries, Zenko offers policy recommendations for Washington. Download the Report »

U.S. Immigration Reform Will Happen—At Last

Calling attention to the changing demographics of the United States' population, CFR President Richard N. Haass outlines arguments for immigration reform and unpacks the consequences of doing nothing. For Haass, the most important dimension of this debate is legal immigration, which has been shown to boost American competitiveness.

To understand the arguments on both sides of the issue, reference the CFR Backgrounder, "The U.S. Immigration Debate">>

Energy Independence? Not Entirely

Speaking at the World Affairs Council of Northern California, CFR's energy expert Michael Levi asserts that while the United States has become independent in domestic natural gas production, we have not become energy independent when it comes to oil. For Levi, it is worth remembering that the United States is still part of a large global oil market, and our economy can still be affected by changing dynamics in the Middle East. Read more »

Why it is Important to Talk to Cuba

In this CFR interview, Julia Sweig explains the Cuban government's recent commitments to reform and the geostrategic reasons why a rapprochement between Washington and Havana would be beneficial. According to Sweig, Washington should seize on this opportunity to initiate a new dialogue and begin solving the many problems impeding normalization between the two countries. Read more »