Gunloons often like to use the example of prohibition when raising the canard of total gun bans. Here's a fairly typical gunloon use of the analogy:
Also, gun control will not work because we already had something like it a few times and each time it has failed. Remember the Prohibition? From 1919 till 1933 owning, producing, and selling alcohol was illegal. Some people believed that alcohol was a bad thing and that it caused people to do terrible things. To these people it seemed like a good idea at the time to make alcohol illegal.
However, outlaws and gang members decided to keep making alcohol anyway. It was obvious that the Prohibition had failed. The latest ban that is having problems is the illegal drug bans.
The above argument is flawed in several respects; primarily, owning and consuming alcohol was not illegal. Prohibition outlawed the manufacture and sale of alcohol--but you could drink it without penalty. In fact, the Volstead Act allowed individuals to legally make 200 gallons per year of wine or hard cider. The author also neflects to note prohibition had taken place in many states by the time of national prohibition---in fact, by 1916, half the states in the US had prohibition.
Of course, the prohibition laws were extremely flawed. In addition to the fact that alcohol could be legally consumed and certain types of spirits could be legally made for personal use--the use of whiskey as a medicinal was legal for doctors to prescribe. Some clever bars--known as "blind pigs"--would circumvent laws by offering patrons a novelty act for which they'd pay a fee and receive a complimentary cocktail. Further, despite what you see in the movies, prohibition was not widely enforced.
Of course, we're all familiar with the negative externalities--crime gangs who engaged in bootlegging flourished.
But did Prohibition fail?
The answer is no.
Despite flawed laws, little enforcement, and a huge blackmarket--Prohibition actually achieved its primary purpose: to reduce alcohol consumption. In fact, US alcohol consumption remained below pre-Prohibition levels for nearly 50 years after Prohibition's repeal.
Regarding guns--let's remember it's pretty difficult to make guns at home. As to bootlegging of guns, they'd probably have to come from Eastern Europe and we have improved our surveillance and enforcement capabilities since the 1920s.
As with all gunloon arguments--this one fails badly.