In any rational debate it is important to have a command of the facts. The current gun control debate unfortunately is not informed by facts but rather conjecture and anecdotal evidence that would never fly in a court of law. You would think that in a country whose murder rate is 20 times higher than in other wealthy societies we all would want credible research to back up our positions, regardless of which side we were on.
Since 1996, Congress has prevented first the CDC and now NIH, from spending any money that could be construed as advocating or promoting gun control. The 2012 restrictions were a direct result of the conclusions reached by a group who concluded that a gun did not prevent its owner from being shot during an assault. (Nature 488, 129; 2012). This paper was dismissed by the NRA as nothing more than junk science, however this was only one paper and more research could have suggested the exact opposite to be true.
Consensus conclusions and the policies that derive from them are informed from conducting a large number of rigorous scientific studies. The NRA, supported by Senators Lee and Hatch, do not even want that.