Dead Malls Reborn as Anything But Malls

The Great American Mall has been dying for years and years now. So long, in fact, that many malls are actually dead now! And what are we to do with all of these empty mall building carcasses? Ah, glad you asked!

We (the USA) are going to fill our ghost mall carcasses with go-kart tracks. And trampoline warehouses. And laser tag arenas and grocery stores and private schools and anything, really, except for mall stores—because, as the WSJ points out, nobody goes to the stupid mall to go shopping any more. We go to the mall to shoot things now.

Perhaps the most unusual use of a former big-box store is William James's Arms Room gun shop and shooting range, which opened last year in a former Circuit City store south of Houston. Mr. James spent nearly $5 million to buy the 20,000-square-foot space and convert it into a shooting range, a price he considered a bargain compared with building from scratch. The Arms Room offers handgun training courses in addition to traditional shooting practice, all in a popular shopping center anchored by Target Corp. and Home Depot Inc. stores.

Get your shopping needs taken care of, then stop by the Arms Room to repeatedly send volleys of deadly bullets into "Targets" in order to get out that stress. That stress that never seems to go away no matter how many different big box stores you visit, no matter how many Home Depots you patronize. That twitch. Not even Cinnabon can soothe it. You need a good 20-30 minutes of tugging that Glock trigger, over and over again, knowing that if only your high velocity rounds could penetrate the back wall of the Arms Room they would go flying amongst the sheeplike Target patrons, slaughtering them wholesale as you cackled and cackled and felt the stress finally slip away from you for a brief, sweet instant, before you climbed in your F-150 and fled back to the subdivision.

No sense letting all that space go to waste.

[WSJ. Photo: Clinton Steeds/ Flickr]