The Rifleman told the story of Lucas McCain, a rancher living on the outskirts of North Fork, NM. His wife had died and Lucas was raising his 12 year old son all alone. And if scraping out a living on the ranch and bringing up his son weren't enough to keep his plate full, every week Lucas had to beat up or shoot another bad guy who had wandered into the territory. To aide him in these activities, Lucas always carried a tricked-out Winchester rifle.
Why was Lucas so involved in doing battle with these villians? Because the local marshal, Micah Torrance, was beyond useless. This guy was just never around. He probably spent most of his time in the back room of the local saloon,making time with some floozy. As soon as Lucas would beat up and/or shoot another menace to society, Micah would come running up, wondering what all the fuss was about. I guess it never occured to the good people of North Fork to just give Micah his walking papers and make Lucas the marshal. Oh well.