Off the top of my head, I can't think of too many people who died because they were not able to take photos. However, there were those who died (or get hurt) trying to take a picture.
Having said that I certainly agree with you that if one were to go all out to take a photo and put full effort into doing so, then they should ensure they at least have the correct (if not the best they can afford) equipment for the envisaged shot. Luck can be an important factor in photography and the one who is short of either the necessary skill or equipment can miss that once in a lifetime shot.
I think most of us can afford to produce a book of at least 50 blank pages, titled 'The Photos I Never Took'.