On April 21, 2020, Urbana University became the first college in Ohio to close down for good due to financial pressure brought about by the Wuhan virus.
Urbana University has a long history of financial woes and declining enrollment. In 2014, Franklin University, a private non-profit university in Columbus, bought the liberal arts college.
Since the acquisition, Urbana has served as a “branch campus” for Franklin.
Approximately 75 percent of Urban’s 1,254 students do not attend classes on the school’s physical campus and will then proceed to take online classes at Franklin. The remaining 25 percent are residential and commuter students who take online classes. Those students will have the opportunity to complete their programs online through Franklin University, or transfer to other institutions.
According to an announcement from the university’s website, 111 full-time employees have been impacted by this decision. Some of the employees will have employment offers at Franklin. Employees who don’t transfer to Franklin will be offered severance packages.
The Wuhan virus pandemic pushed colleges to close physical campuses in March. Students were then required to take classes online for the rest of the semester. Although Ohio has plans of slowly re-opening businesses after May 1, it’s still up in the air if the pandemic will keep colleges and K-12 schools closed during the fall semester.
The uncertainty in both enrolment numbers and the potential loss of housing money could pose major threats to colleges. Elected officials allocated $14 billion in federal stimulus towards higher education, according to a report from Inside Higher Ed.
“Our highest priority is to ensure students experience a seamless transition of their academic studies and that our branch campus employees have the resources to make their transition as well,” declared Franklin University President David Decker in the announcement. “As institutions of higher education across the country struggle to identify ways to stay open, we will do all we can to help students identify the best alternative forward to fulfill their education goals in an affordable manner.”
If Democrats Win, Will Guns Sales Go Through the Roof?
No matter who wins in 2020, the biggest story of this election cycle has been the record levels of gun sales. In a piece titled “Guns Sales Break Records With Gun Control Legislation Likely If Democrats Win”, Newsweek highlights the meteoric rise of gun sales in 2020 and how these sales will only go up under a Biden administration.
It’s likely that a Biden win on November 3, 2020 will give life to gun control measure such as universal background checks, assault weapons bans, and national gun buybacks. Scott Reeves of Newsweek noted that “coronavirus pandemic, urban riots and the likelihood of increased regulation if the Democrats win the White House, regain control of the Senate and hold the House” have led to the unprecedented firearms sales. A Biden win would only accelerate this trend, as people become frightened by the prospect of gun control.
Through September, background checks recorded by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) reached 28.826 million. This total surpassed 2019’s record of 28.369 million, representing a 28 percent increase, according to the FBI report. As of September 30, Illinois was leading the nation in background checks with 5.6 million. Reeves noted that other states such as Kentucky (2.364 million) checks, Texas (1.730 million), Florida (1.386 million), Indiana (1.203 million), California (1.187 million) and Pennsylvania (1.030 million), were also experiencing significant upticks in gun sales.
Since NICS came into effect on November 1998, a total of 361.830 million background checks for all purposes have been completed since the program began in November 1998.
Zogby Analytics provided some more data showing how enthusiastic Americans are about buying guns:
Zogby Analytics in Utica, New York found that the number of gun owners increased 3.9% between October 2019 and October 2020 to 31.3% of the population. The number of individuals in a household keeping a gun at home, work, vacation cottage or club for personal protection, hunting or target shooting increased 7% to 42.2% in the last year. Membership in the National Rifle Association, a gun rights advocacy group, increased 6% to 17.7% in the last year, Zogby’s polling found.
“While there is fierce debate in Washington D.C. and among voters about what certain types of guns and accessories constitute ‘assault weapons,’ adults in the U.S. are buying and keeping more guns,” Jonathan Zogby declared.
Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, an anti-Second Amendment organization, is of the opinion that uncertainty brought about by the Wuhan virus pandemic, riots, and the election are contributing factors to the rise in gun sales.
“Typically, gun sales rise in times of fear,” he said to Newsweek. “We live in a time when there’s a lot of fear, including fear that there might be more gun regulation with a Democratic President and Democratic majorities in Congress. And, there’s been a lot of unrest.”
Americans actions speak louder than their words. Even if Joe Biden does the unthinkable (and the very unlikely) by winning on November 3, his administration will encounter stiff resistance from gun-owning Americans across the political spectrum.
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