Should they be treated with respect? Sure. Do you think the Coast Guard should be able to enforce that respect at the point of a gun? No way.
The Coast Guard is here to serve the citizenry, not the other way round. If they are the sorts of folks who can't tolerate free people exercising their right to speak freely, then they are unfit, by definition, for the job they have been assigned, and they neither deserve to wear the uniform nor respect from folks like me.
BTW, I would hardly call a safety inspection done respectfully as revenge, would you?
You offered that as a possible rationale for their actions, not me. Which leads me to suspect that you understand the possibility for abusing a routine "safety inspection" quite well.
and you think they don't? Is that right?
I don't think the guns were drawn. The CG regulations require boarding parties to carry weapons. Try enforcing the law without a gun. I wish guns weren't necessary but I believe they are.
The Coast Guard is here to serve the citizenry, not the other way round.
The Coast Guard is here to enforce the law and to protect lives and property. They are not here to be servants of the citizenry.