My parents still live in that same suburban house, purchased twenty-eight years ago. For eighteen of those years, the house remained much the same. I would pass through a front yard open to the street, unlock and rotate the doorknob, and walk in. Over the past decade, however, the simple act of entering the residence has grown dauntingly complex. Next to the door is a small metal plate with an illuminated red L.E.D., warning of the presence of an activated alarm. Upon disengaging the dead bolt and opening the front door, I have thirty seconds in which to deactivate the alarm by entering a sequence of digits into a small keypad in the entry hall. Should I forget the number, or should the hall be too dark to work the keypad within the prescribed time, a shrieking siren wakes the neighborhood. Next, the dead bolt must be reengaged and a separate switch, located elsewhere in the house, must be tripped to deactivate pressure pads strewn beneath the floor and contacts embedded into the interior doorways. At that point the house’s interior becomes safe for passage and the alarm may be safely reactivated as a perimeter defense. At any time, the alarm may be intentionally activated by hitting “panic buttons” sprinkled throughout the house at strategic locations. The exterior of the house, once illuminated only by a porch light, now basks in the glare of multiple 150-watt security lights in the back and side yards, switched on from dusk to dawn by photoelectric sensors.