There is a difference. No one owns the ocean and access is an ancient right. Land away from the ocean doesn’t block access to the ocean. The wealthy would like to monopolize access to the ocean, effectively shutting out every other user. Having lived away from the ocean, the only other geographical feature that comes close are mountains, most of which are (rightly) in parks.
Those who who rant about property rights of largely absentee land owners are effectively supporting shutting access. I cannot put it more politely than that. It truly is the few (way less than 1% of property owners) versus the many. A substantial number of the people trying to limit beachfront access own 3-5 houses. Their goal is complete and total exclusion. Fortunately, their intentions are the sort that look horrible in daylight, so when exposed to newspapers or courts tend to fair poorly.
I would rather not divulge exactly how I have come to have that information as it would reveal too much on a public forum. However, If you think I am full of crap to do one of two things: either attend many local zoning or planning board meetings, or go request the records of them. As I stated in all of these posts, the divide is income and ownership of beachfront land. It cuts through political beliefs, community ties, etc.
There are plenty of homes for sale on the cape 2-3 lots back from the ocean for those who do not wish to worry about the peons being visible.
Again, those who do damage should be dealt with individually. When I lived in South Boston someone broke a car window while drunk on my street. Did that imply that all the bars be shut, and the purchase of liquor by residents banned?