I was reflecting on the tactic of killing off someone because you want to disempower their ideas. We possibly saw this yesterday in Arizona, but we saw it last week also in Pakistan and it happens repeatedly. If the ideas have largely centered in one person, killing the person can kill the idea--or at least disempower it. In a strange way, this dynamic also applies to the pastor of a local church. If she has centered her ministry around herself, then it may fizzle after she leaves.
On the other hand, if the idea is truly held by the group, then others will immediately rise to take the martyr's place and may in fact be energized by martyrdom. This cuts both ways, whether the ideology is good or bad. Killing the leaders of Al-Qaeda, for example, may not in any way disempower their movement any more than killing Christians does in the stories we tell ourselves about Christian martyrs ("The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church").
So there are some ideas we would no doubt like to see disappear and there are some we would like to see transcend. If we want them to transcend, they had better be bigger than us.