Above the Law, the site I referred to yesterday, has a nice piece up today about the internet coverage of Commonwealth v. Ung.
I was particularly impressed that they made a link to at least one of the state’s gun bloggers.
Right to carry is just a really big issue in Pennsylvania, and I knew there were folks out there who were going to be following every detail of the Ung case from start to finish. So Sebastian’s post is worth the read.
The thing you have to remember about Pennsylvania is that it’s a very old state–one that had been a colony for nearly a century of its existence. It has urban cores, but it also has a far-flung rural population. It was true in the early 1990’s, and I bet it’s true today, that Pennsylvania has the largest rural population of any state. (More than Texas, New York, California, Florida.)
It is basically a developer’s project (William Penn) that got going 325 years ago, and the people’s sons and daughters just kept spreading west over the land–before they even went to Ohio.
So you have communities where the gun culture is a part of life. These places are a short drive from the urban-suburban Northeast Corridor, which you’d have to figure Philadelphia is a part of.
I hated Philadelphia in the end. I spent 11 years there, and more-or-less the place just got worse and worse, nuttier and nuttier. I know the people tell me that it’s cleaned up its act since then, and I did visit it when I first came back from Japan. But when I heard about the Ung story, I couldn’t help but feel some sympathy for his situation. Even though, I am very much for gun control (not abolition, control). I think Phoenix showed us that we really need to know who has the guns. When, where, and why. But otherwise, you’re never going to have gun abolition in America, and I don’t see what these right wiingers’ points are.
The point that also interests me about Ung is that he is described as “ex” Temple Law student–and I wonder if this was his choice or theris. And, if he knew about the Lincoln Herbert case from 1994. (Lincoln Herbert hit an aggressive panhandler with Mace as the panhandler pursued him into the law school lobby. The dean at the tiem, Robert Reinstein, suspended Herbert without notice and a hearing, and Herbert took it to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The lower court sided with Reinstein, but the Third Circuit overturned the ruling and said Herbert’s rights had been violated. (He was awarded damages of just one dollar.)
If Ung was pushed out of Temple Law, it sounds like a Herbert situation. If Ung withdrew, then I imagine it’s good luck getting back in—although he was not guilty and, in the eyes of his peers on the jury, he didn’t do anything, well . . . wrong.
Temple is a highly political place, where the employees are, sometimes surprisingly, friends of friends or the spouses of friends. So unless someone in there is really going to push for Ung to be re-enrolled, I bet they will give him a hard time.