SpeleoRover wrote:I'm a bit appalled that there was significant talk of weapons in rescue situations. I wasn't there so I can't be sure of the context. Just a personal point of contention.
For whatever it's worth, and in all seriousness, I have been present for at least two rescues during which the presence of an armed police officer was necessary in order to prevent interference with the rescue operation from bystanders who threatened rescuers.
I have also been on caving expeditions in a region of the Wyoming mountains where grizzly bears are a serious and frequent threat. Hikers and mountain bikers in the area have been mauled and in one case eaten. In that environment it is (IMHO) a good idea to have some sort of defensive weapon, even it is just a bear-sized cannister of pepper spray. One of my caving companions prefers a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum, however, and frankly, I am glad that he is willing to bring it.
It's a dangerous world out there. People who are not prepared to take care of themselves are apt to get into trouble. I am glad to go and help them, but I do not want to get hurt or killed in the process, whether by the cave or by an animal or by some mean-spirited person. My family would not appreciate that.