Paying attention shows gun freedom costs more than it’s worth.

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Is that the sound of liberty ringing out all over the place? Or maybe it’s the sound of lunacy — gunshots on street corners, in cars, in homes.

Each time a trigger is pulled represents a unique story. But if you take a moment once in a while to look at the constant repetition, the story is about more than individual incidents. It’s about myriad expressions of a collective willingness to tolerate needless bloodletting.

Pieces of the narrative play out in Seattle, Shoreline, Des Moines and Federal Way, everywhere across the region and the country. Sometimes they draw a lot of public attention, but often not.

Maybe you read this last Friday: “Hundreds of residents packed a forum Thursday night in Federal Way to voice concerns about safety after three men were found fatally shot over two days in this South King County city.”

Adam Edward Gutierrez was shot while running with his dog. Alex J. Kelly was smoking on a porch when he was killed. Frank Cohens Jr. was found dead in a parked car.

If the deaths had been spread out over time or place, they wouldn’t have raised the same level of alarm. Clusters and numbers get our attention. It’s harder to get worked up when one shooting fades before the next one happens, or if they aren’t physically near enough to seem threatening to you or me. It’s not wrong for people in Federal Way to be concerned. Three is as many murders as the city usually sees in a year. But we also need to make ourselves pay more attention to the usual casualties if we’re ever going to work up the will to do something to significantly reduce gun violence.

In another shooting this month, a 15-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of a man in Des Moines. One witness said the man made a joke the boy didn’t like.

That shooting was done with a handgun stolen in a house burglary. Someone no doubt thought they had a weapon ready to protect their home, but guns in the home are especially attractive to burglars.

It’s easy to buy a gun, but gun theft is still a problem. Two boys arrested last week after a standoff with police in Shoreline are suspected of stealing a gun from a Lynnwood gun store.

Just over a week ago, on a Saturday afternoon, two young people were shot and injured near the intersection of South Genesee Street and 37th Avenue South.

I regularly walk or drive past that intersection, so even though the shootings didn’t become big news, they made me think. I see parents pushing strollers past that intersection. Anyone could have been in the path of one of the bullets.

A week later, I hadn’t seen any media follow up. What kind of society are we that something like that is just routine?

Well, here’s something else that defines us: The week those shootings happened I’d seen another story about gun violence and toddlers. The story in The New York Times was based on work by Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun-control advocacy group. Research by the group found there were 30 deaths last year in which a child 5 years old or younger was the shooter. Twice a day on average a child injures someone with a gun, usually themselves or a family member. Is this a fair price to pay for the freedom to own a gun?

Some Americans say they need guns to protect their homes, but that’s not how most of those weapons are used. They’re more likely used to kill someone close.

And a lot of those deaths don’t make the news at all. Suicide accounts for the majority of the more than 30,000 yearly gun deaths in the U.S.

That’s not the sound of freedom.