Earlier this month, the House of Delegates passed by a 94-4 vote a bill that called for uniform gun laws across the state of West Virginia. It sounds simple, even sensible.
But the House's gun bill would have achieved uniformity by invalidating ordinances that some municipalities passed in an attempt to deter trafficking in guns.
In 1993, the city of Charleston passed a measure limiting handgun purchases - rifles were not affected - to one per person per month, with a 72-hour waiting period before the purchaser could pick up the gun.
City officials - and the public - were concerned about a shocking number of shootings.
In 1999, the state passed a law prohibiting city councils and county commissions from enforcing gun ordinances that restricted gun rights in a way not consistent with state law. The measure exempted existing ordinances.
This year's House measure would repeal the grandfathering of longstanding city gun laws.
Charleston Mayor Danny Jones objected.
"This law will allow the flow of guns and drugs in and out of our city to increase," he said.
Jones and Delegate Mark Hunt then detoured into a firefight of insults that didn't advance reason much.
Here's hoping the state Senate provides a cooling atmosphere in which reason can prevail.