The way the world decides to act toward the March for Our Lives movement is vital to the future progress and shaping of this country.

Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, along with his classmates at his school in Parkland, Florida, have issued a significant amount of foundational growth needed to be touched upon and made known today.

Amazingly, these students through their joined voices enacted a series of laws in the state of Florida where the minimum age to buy firearms was raised from 18 to 21-years-old. A system was created that was characterized by more concrete and systematic waiting periods and background checks in the purchasing of firearms. More policies are being enacted as well, which is only the beginning to the movement to prevent tragedies like that of Parkland to happen again.

While it is okay to disagree with some aspects of the movement, it sickens my heart to read that many individuals have sent Cameron Kasky death threats over Facebook and more than likely over other media platforms.

Whether you stand behind the push for gun control advocacy, #NeverAgain, or the March for Our lives movement, it is important to firstly realize the fundamental right these students maintain to speak out against what they find to be a corrupt system. The last thing these kids need after experiencing tragedy is to be bombarded by deadly opposition resulting in demeaning or bullying. The freedom to speak out for what you believe in the face of tragedy and heartbreak is a fundamental value for people living in this country. People need to grow in their ability to understand how another’s opinion could perhaps be drastically different due to the circumstances they have experienced allowing them to find a belief quite different from another individual.

Because of the tragic events surrounding this high school, a higher number of individuals are starting to take concrete opinions on not only how they feel about the current state of gun laws and the safety of the school system, but also other social and political notions. Truly, this is what matters–not the conflict and disagreements resulting from the difference in ideals, but rather the freedom for any individual at any time to speak out for what they believe in and cause impact in a community possibly on a large scale.

The March for Our Lives movement gives hope to those who seek progress through the public voice of opinion, and it will likely lead more people to identify with particular movements in which they are interested. In life, our opinion must carry weight and meaning lest we become mindless and lax with many of these issues today.

March for Our Lives takes place March 24 as a national movement in advocacy for more gun reform. A march will take place in Johnson City beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the corner of ETSU on University Parkway.