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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) named Thompson the chairman of the committee in response to the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December. The shooting resulted in 27 dead including 20 children.

The vice chairmen include Rep. Ron BarberRon BarberTen House seats Dems hope Trump will tilt House conducts moment of silence for Tucson shooting anniversary Dem files Ethics complaint on Benghazi panel MORE (D-Ariz.), who survived a shooting in Tucscon, Ariz., in early 2011. Then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was the target of that shooting.

Other vice chairmen on the task force, all Democrats, are: Reps. John Dingell (Mich.), Bill Enyart (Ill.), Elizabeth Etsy (Conn.), Chaka Fattah (Pa.), Carolyn McCarthyCarolyn McCarthyWhy Congress needs an openly atheist member, now Lobbying World Lobbying world MORE (N.Y.), Grace Napolitano (Calif.), Ed Perlmutter (Colo.), David Price (N.C.) Bobby ScottBobby ScottDems press Trump to keep Obama overtime rule Ex-Black Caucus chair backs Pelosi challenger Effort to allow federal government to discriminate in the name of religion must not prevail MORE (Va.), Jackie Speier (Calif.), and Bennie Thompson (Miss.)

President Obama has also vowed to take new steps to reduce gun violence and prevent shootings similar to Sandy Hook. He appointed Vice President Biden as the head of a separate effort to come up with solutions to preventing gun violence.

A number of Republican and Democratic lawmakers, including a few with "A" ratings from the National Rifle Association, have called for federal "action" to reduce gun violence.