The exact intention of Paul's comment was unclear. The former congressman has been a staunch supporter of Second Amendment rights, blasting "misguided" and "emotional" calls for greater gun restrictions in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shootings.

"Many Americans believe that if we simply pass the right laws, future horrors like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting can be prevented," Paul said. "But this impulse ignores the self evident truth that criminals don't obey laws."

More likely, Paul — a gynecologist who often referred to his medical background on the campaign trail — was suggesting that he did not find the therapy technique appropriate.

The tweet drew immediate fire from some on Twitter, including conservative commentator and former Reagan speechwriter John Podhoretz: