Georgia GOP Rep. Phil Gingrey favors gun control, discusses Akin’s rape remarks

Chris Moody

Speaking at a local Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Thursday morning in his home state, Georgia Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey addressed some heavy issues, including the need for gun control in the wake of deadly shootings throughout the country, and former Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's controversial comments on the campaign trail last year about rape, saying Akin was "partly right."

As reported in the Marietta Daily Journal, Gingrey, a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said he would be open to some measures restricting high-capacity magazines and enforcing more rigorous requirements for background checks at gun shows.

“There are some problems, and maybe these huge magazines even for someone who says, ‘Look, I just use an AR-15 for target practice.' But do you really need to be standing there shooting at a silhouette a shot a second or even quicker with that kind of weapon? For what purpose?” Gingrey said, according to the Journal. “I would be willing to listen to the possibility of the capacity of a magazine.”

President Barack Obama plans to announce a proposal for stricter gun rules next week, and Gingrey's openness to an overhaul could help propel the Democratic administration's messaging effort.

Gingrey's morning talk was wide-ranging. He also discussed comments made by Akin, in which Akin said victims of "legitimate rape" don't often become pregnant because the woman's body has "ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Gingrey argued that Akin, who may have lost his election because of those comments, was in part right.

“What he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus nonlegitimate rape," Gingrey, an OB-GYN physician since 1975, said. "I don’t find anything so horrible about that. But then he went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He’s partly right on that.”

He continued: “I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things. It is true. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight, because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So he was partially right, wasn’t he? But the fact that a woman may have already ovulated 12 hours before she is raped, you’re not going to prevent a pregnancy there by a woman’s body shutting anything down, because the horse has already left the barn, so to speak. And yet the media took that and tore it apart.”

Gingrey later said that he was merely trying to provide context to Akin's remarks, but was not trying to defend them. “At a breakfast yesterday morning, I was asked why Democrats made abortion a central theme of the presidential campaign. I do not defend, nor do I stand by, the remarks made by Rep. Akin. ... In my attempt to provide context as to what I presumed they meant, my position was misconstrued," he said.