Let me explain! Here in Texas, your body is your own, and the government is not going to interfere. We respect you as an individual much too much. We believe you should have total bodily freedom — to carry a firearm (basically a body part; has “arm” in it) or breathe infectiously on a stranger. That’s why there are no mask mandates, just this new six-week abortion ban: because we don’t want the government to interfere with people’s lives, ever, except the minor degree to which someone’s life is interfered with by having to carry a fetus to term inside themself. Which is barely an inconvenience at all.

We believe in freedom. Your fist must stop where my nose starts, the Alamo, pew pew, etc. Except this one minor thing that is obviously not a big deal, where you have to use your body to build another body from whole cloth, give it eyeballs and a circulatory system, undergo months and months of creeping bodily horror as your torso becomes unrecognizable to you, familiar smells become off-putting, and the recently fired “Jeopardy!” man threatens your livelihood, and then at the end of this process you have a human being for whom you have to arrange a life. Compare that minor, barely palpable discomfort with the shocking, invasive horror of placing a damp strip of fabric across your nose when you enter a business establishment for three to five minutes. I shudder just imagining it. We would never ask that of the people of Texas. That would be trampling on their God-given rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (Never mind life; that is from conception until birth, and then you’re on your own, and we’ll be updating the Declaration of Independence to reflect that soon.)

Can you imagine a world where people had to do something even mildly inconvenient with their bodies simply because the government told them they had to and it would benefit others? I cannot. Thank goodness we don’t live in a world like that. Imagine if someone told you you had to put a mask on your face, or couldn’t put a gun in your hand, or — well, that exhausts my supply of invasive things the government might tell you you had to do with your body. Everything else is probably fine and not invasive.

You absolutely can cough and breathe on whomever you would like; it’s a God-given right. I can think of absolutely nothing worse that a human being could suffer than having to conceal his exquisite nose. God, sometimes when I think that not everyone I encounter at airports knows what my nose looks like, I want to go out and buy a dangerous weapon to shoot off into the air at random. Which I’m free to do! Because here in Texas we don’t believe in restricting anyone from living as he chooses. Except the minor, barely tangible restrictions we have placed on people who want to vote (totally fine as long as you don’t) or get abortions (totally fine as long as you don’t), both of which are almost certainly going to disproportionately impact people of color.

After all, it’s your body and of course we view your autonomy as sacred and worthy of protection. We will shoot all masks on sight (metaphorically) with our guns (which are literal). Yes, you technically can’t use your body to do any drive-through voting or visit a 24-hour voting place, but rest assured, you can carry as many guns as you would like and as few masks as you want while you also carry an unwanted pregnancy to term!

You can do anything with your body in Texas, and we would never presume to tell you otherwise. Bring your firearms everywhere and your masks nowhere. It is just that if your body contains a uterus, it does not, technically, belong to you; it is more of a vacant lot for us to regulate as we see fit and your neighbors to be encouraged to sue about. You may want some degree of public safety when it comes to the coronavirus. You may, technically, be alive, and want to stay that way, but — that might interfere with somebody else’s desire for his nose to be visible, and you know the old rule: Your freedom stops where my nose begins.