On Thursday around 8 p.m., news spread that another victim, 46-year-old Sinando Sen, was shoved onto the subway tracks at the 40th Street-Lowery Street subway station in Sunnyside.
The attacker passed along the platform before taking a seat, and as the train approached she attacked by pushing another innocent victim from behind to the tracks, according to witnesses.
In a Queens criminal court, it was reported that the aggressor, Erika Menendez, 31, laughed in her arraignment
She blamed “Muslims, Hindus and Egyptians” for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and told police, “I pushed a Muslim on the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims – ever since 2001 when they put down the Twin Towers I’ve been beating them up.”
So here we are again.
In the day and age where fingers are quick to be pointed at a blame or cause for these tragic events, it is apparent that mental instability has once again become the root of another disaster in our subway system.
A Q train killed a 58-year-old Elmhurst man, Ki-Suck Han, when he was pushed from a Times Square platform on Dec. 3 after getting into a fight with his emotionally unstable aggressor.
Thirty-year-old Naeem Davis was screaming at Han before the attack, however he claims that Han, “wouldn’t leave me alone so I pushed him,” according to reports.
Either way, we're looking at someone who needs help.
In the end, the brunt of the blame was placed on the Post photographer whose picture became immortalized on the front page; however that is a moral dilemma of its own.
Today, the country is asking whether gun control or mental health is the cause over the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, or the man who killed two firefighters just before Christmas in Monroe County. And maybe it’s a little bit of both.
But they are also asking; what are we doing wrong?
Is it that automatic weapons are too easily accessible, or is it possible that it something more deeply rooted than that?
We can all agree that a mentally unstable person off their medication should not have the ability to shoot 800 rounds per minute, or that anyone should for that matter.
But is it becoming a luxury for people to receive the care they need?
Health care costs have continued to climb, doubling in the last decade, to nearly $20,000 annually for uninsured families of four, according to a Forbes report.
The Hidden Costs of U.S. Health Care reports that out of pocket spending on professional services and “imputed value of supervisory care provided to a friend or family member,” are also up by roughly 4 percent. Forbes also showed that premiums have gone up and physician compensation is the lowest in pediatrics and family medicine.
The Huffington Post reported that states have cut over $1.6 billion in outpatient care, vital to treating mental illness; while some, like Illinois, Ohio and Massachusetts, have made hundreds of millions of dollars in direct cuts to mental health spending, leaving little or no space at hospitals.
So, what is there to do for the 47 percent of us waiting on Obamacare in 2014? And what can be done to ease the tension in our subway systems and in our schools?
Now is the time more than ever for bipartisan agreement in the house.
Will the city have enough in the bank to look into a solution like building barriers or sliding doors, which has been tossed around as a couple possibilities, or will they look into tackling the broader issue, mental health?
Until something is done, there will be some paranoid commuters looking over their shoulders and leaning casually against the large steel columns in subway terminals in the coming months until something is done there to ease some of this stress.