"The Federal Emergency Management Agency's conduct code prohibits urban search-and-rescue teams from having guns." (AP) Someone at some point thought this sounded like a great rule to have, and now FEMA is strictly following it. It's more than slightly ironic that the prohibition would be placed on those rescuing people -- i.e. saving lives -- a reasonable assessment would not be that they are more inclined to use their weapons for harm.
In another display of sheer incompetence, FEMA told the Phoenix Fire Department's Urban Search & Rescue team to go home. Why? The Phoenix Search & Rescue team had brought police with guns along with them for protection. According to the article, "Officials told the Phoenix team on Sept. 26 that their help was no longer needed after members of the group were seen embarking on a helicopter flight with a loaded shotgun while helping with the aftermath of Rita. " It's bad enough that they brought police with guns, but I suppose the one shotgun on the helicopter was the last straw.
As I've said before: every time there is an 'emergency,' people mention sacrificing some of their rights, yet government never offers to sacrifice even its most absurd regulations. We've sacrificed billions of dollars in taxes in the name of "hurricane relief." And for what? To pay for FEMA to send firefighters home and then claim it needs more money?