Douglas Haig, who sold ammunition to the Mandalay Bay shooter, pled guilty today to selling and manufacturing ammunition without a license. None of Haig’s ammunition was used in the shooting, but it was found at the crime scene and a receipt linked him to the killer Steven Paddock. Haig faces up to five years in prison at his sentencing on Feb. 19.
At every turn, the federal government railroaded Haig. Not only was he the only person prosecuted in connection with the crime, though he had no part or knowledge of it, the federal judge James Mahan denied request after request to ensure Haig got a fair trial. He was denied a bench trial (to the liabilities of avoid an emotional Las Vegas jury deeply affected by the incident). He was denied a change of venue to Arizona and another to Reno. The judge even refused to ban mention of the mass shooting in court.
The government wanted a scapegoat and it wanted a guilty plea, so they backed Haig into a corner where he could go on trial and probably lose and get sentenced to something terrible, or he could plead. At least they let him plead guilty.
Selling and manufacturing ammunition without a license is a federal crime akin to distilling and selling liquor without ATF approval and paying the appropriate taxes. This law is not about crime control, it’s about tax revenue and government control. One can only imagine what would be if the government required a license to print and sell books.
The most disgusting aspect of this is the prosecutorial zeal for a scapegoat and the complicity of the judge in allowing the government to run roughshod over this man. Douglas Haig didn’t kill anyone, but the government, unable to find a motive or punish anyone else, must have someone’s hide for Paddock’s crime. Treating a white-collar crime in such a callous manner and refusing at every opportunity to provide for a fair trial is tyranny.
One hopes that Haig has the ability to appeal his plea on the grounds it was compelled due to the utter contempt of the government for him to receive a fair trial.